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Everyday Business | Market mixed: Prices up, listings down

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The local housing market in May radiated mixed signals as prices soared and listings shrank, at least when compared to the mini-boom of last year’s market recovery.

In fact, your take on whether the Wenatchee market in May thrived or dived probably depended on where you stood in the home-buying equation:

If you’re the seller: Relax a bit. Since May 2013, average home prices have climbed 8 percent to $251,654, while the median price jumped 7 percent to $222,000. The number of homes sold year-to-date have decreased 4 percent to 299 from 313, but total dollar volume is up 3 percent to $75.2 million.

If you’re the buyer: Stay alert. Competition remains stiff for homes priced $300,000 and below, and the number of homes on the market (down 15 percent from last year) doesn’t help matters any. Interest rates remain low, say brokers, and credit has loosened a bit. Special financing programs are available for low-income and first-time buyers, too.

If you’re a broker: Keep juggling. Selling, listing, financing need constant attention like never before, say a few close sources. Low inventory means primo properties are selling nearly as fast as they’re listed. And buyers’ interest for those $700,000-dream homes is on an upswing, although closing a deal on a Big One still remains a tough task.

By the way, our buddies at Pacific Appraisal Associates, a Wenatchee appraisal and consulting firm, provided May’s market numbers on Tuesday. The Wenatchee Market includes Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Malaga, Orondo and Rock Island.

Nick McLean has new market analysis

Speaking of housing market reports, the Nick McLean Real Estate Group has begun its own monthly, quarterly and annual examination of the local residential market. It’s called “The McLean Report” and is available online at (Click on Blog to find the report.)

McLean’s report for May is loaded with interesting analysis and details. A few tidbits:

In May, the highest-priced home selling in the Wenatchee market was a 2,965-square-foot log home with three bedrooms, 2.5 baths and 236 feet of Columbia River waterfront. Price: $762,900.

The average number of “days on market” (year-to-date) for a home prior to closing was 113.

The ratio of sold price to listing price stood at about 98 percent, which indicated that buyers weren’t haggling much over the asking price. This shows that buyers are feeling more confident that homes are priced right, said the report, and that the market will appreciate.

Inside look at naming rights

Wenatchee’s Black Diamond Sports Therapy sprinted past all competition this month to grab naming rights to one of the area’s most popular running events.

What’s now called the Black Diamond Sports Therapy River Run — a four-year-old half-marathon with 10K and 5K runs — is expected to attract about 500 runners and walkers when it’s held Sept. 20 in Wenatchee. The event is organized by RunWenatchee, the local sports marketing group.

We’re really excited to be part of this growing race,” said Black Diamond owner Mark Stockman. “September is an ideal time for running in the Wenatchee Valley.”

True, but we were curious last week about what “naming rights” really means for Black Diamond, and RunWenatchee was kind enough to provide a few details.

Black Diamond forks out $3,000 for the naming honor and, in return, receives all kinds of exposure to a prime group of possible customers. (We’d certainly need therapy after running a half-marathon.)

Black Diamond will see its name on press releases, posters, online advertising, River Run’s website, social media, race gear (bibs and T-shirts) and in tons of local media, including a mention in this blog and column. After all, we’ve already written “Black Diamond” six times, which must be worth thousands of bucks, right?

This is a one-year deal with Black Diamond, says RunWenatchee’s Stephen Maher, but this type of sponsorship is becoming increasingly popular with local businesses. It’s an alternative to traditional marketing, he said, that puts a business’ name right where it can get the most notice.

This weekly column is compiled from “Everyday Business,” a blog by World reporter Mike Irwin. You can reach him at 665-1179 or

Reach Mike Irwin at 509-665-1179 or . Read his blog Everyday Business. follow him on Twitter at @MikeIrwinWW.