Paul's Bellingham Blog

My thoughts on Bellingham, the Real Estate market, and more

1st Quarter of 2011 Bellingham Real Estate Update

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The March statistics are out, and over all, housing numbers are positive for Bellingham for the 1st quarter of 2011.

155 homes sold in the first 3 months of 2011, compared to 149 in 2010. and the amount of homes for sale in Bellingham is down dramatically (434 homes on the market now, compared to 548 in March of 2010) . In order for the Real Estate market to bottom out, the amount of available inventory needs to shrink like this, so this is a positive indicator. Another positive indicator was the jump in new pending home sales in March.

Home prices did continue to slide vary slightly, but under $300,000 we have seen home prices stabilize in Bellingham.

Home Sales Up in April, Prices remain flat

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With the Tax Credit expiring, it is no surprise that April was a huge month for home sales in Bellingham and around the country. You can see from the chart below that out of 574 homes on the market in Bellingham, 142 were pending at the end of April! That is a huge jump in sales year over year, but the big question is: Will the market continue it’s rebound without the tax credit? Going into the summer, it’s easy to predict a stable local market. Families will be moving, many parents will buy condos and homes for there Western Washington University kids, and Whatcom County will continue to see a steady growth in population as buyers will be relocating to Bellingham and Whatcom County.

What it comes to pricing, it is much more difficult to predict. There is still a lot of inventory to absorb before prices can come back up, and you can see in the lower chart that the price per sq foot in Bellingham was actually down.
So in summary, we have a stable market with mutiple months of sales growth, but the there is still no clear trend on what will happen with home prices over the next 1-2 years. What is clear is it is still a buyers market, with interest rates down around 5.0% and buyers finding great deals from motivated sellers, bank repo’s and short sales.   (click on chart’s below to enlarge)