Paul's Bellingham Blog

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

An Incredible Look at Bellingham and Whatcom County

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This video has some incredible shots of Bellingham, Bellingham Bay and Mt Baker. Amazing!

Home Equity Rose by $1 trillion over the last year.

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The Federal Reserve announced the amount of equity we as Americans have in our homes has increased 16 percent over the last year, up more than $1 trillion.

How is that possible? There are two primary reasons.

First many home owners have taken cash from 401k’s and savings, and applied it to there principal, to create the equity needed to refinance and take advantage of today’s incredibly low interest rates.

Second, many of the short sales and bank foreclosures are being purchased cash. In my personal experience, I have been involved in more cash deals in the last year, than I had in the previous 7 years combined! Not only are more buyers paying cash, but even the buyers financing are putting more money down.
And here’s a national stat from The Financial Times: The average home today sells for 22 percent less than five years ago…BUT the average home today is still worth almost 40 percent more than it was 10 years ago.

In Bellingham, Washington home values have outperformed this national average. In Bellingham home values are still up about 60 percent from where they were 10 years ago!

This really highlights why housing should be a long-term play, not a short-term one. It’s usually only in short cycles that you get hurt. That is, unless you take out cash  from your home by way of a couple of refinances or an equity line.

Bellingham Zillow Home Value Index

Some Facts about Bellingham

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Bellingham pending sales jump dramatically in October

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Many. many people jumped off the fence, trying to purchase before the tax credit was set to expire at the end of November. Sales are obviously not going to sustain at this level going in to the winter, but 118 homes in Bham going under contract in October was still really impressive. Fortunately, the tax credit was extended, so we should have year-over-year increase in sales for the next 5 months in to next spring.