Paul's Bellingham Blog

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

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)

Interesting Facts about First Time Home Buyers

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According to the National Association of Realtors, 49% of first time home buyers are married couples. 25% are comprised of single females and just 12% are single males. That is impressive that single females are entering into homeownership at twice the rate as the males, and I have to say that I have noticed the same trend in my local Real Estate market in Bellingham, WA.

Also, more than half -53%- are between the ages of 24 and 34, and 12% are younger than 24.
First time home buyers are also becoming more diverse. 22% are of a minority group, compared to just 13% of repeat buyers.

John L Scott Partners with Zillow.com

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Very cool to find out that John L Scott Real Estate, has partnered with www.Zillow.com. All John L Scott listings will now appear on the 2nd most popular Real Estate website in the country. I am not a fan of Zillow’s “Zestimate” tool, because it can be incredibly inaccurate in coming up an estimate home value. It uses a computer program, which can’t take into account the condition of the home, the floor plan, views, and many other important variables in assessing your home’s value.

But Zillow is a very popular website, and John L Scott is smart to form this partnership to make sure all of it’s listing are getting maximum exposure!

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