Paul's Bellingham Blog

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

Bellingham and Whatcom County Real Estate Market Update: Homes Sales Up in 2012

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No silver lining needed in reviewing the numbers from 2012. Home sales were up, inventory was down, and all indicators were absolutely POSITIVE for Whatcom County Real Estate over the last 12 months. 2,077 single family homes were sold in 2012, which is the best year for Bellingham and Whatcom County Real Estate since 2007 (5 years!). Home values also began to stabilize. Home values remained basically flat throughout most of the county. However Bellingham saw median home values rise 3.8%.

Home values around the county should continue to stabilize (where as they had been slowly dropping in value over the last 5 years), while Bellingham has really turned the corner. There is approximately only a 3 month supply of homes available in Bellingham, and when the supply level falls below 4 or 5 months, that usually means that supply and demand will push home values up.

I am optimistic about 2013, but for this trend to continue, the foreclosure rate will need to continue to drop, and interest rates need to remain low to keep home ownership at the affordable level it is right now.

See the chart below to review home sales for Whatcom County over the last 14 months.

Whatcom Homes Sales Jump 16% this Summer

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The Bellingham Herald just reported that Whatcom County Real Estate sales rose 16.6% for the summer of 2012. That is a huge improvement, and one thing to add is the amount of homes for sale has been down at the same time. With inventory down and sales up over the last 2 quarters, prices have begun to stabilize and even tick up a little bit in Bellingham.

Looking at Whatcom County as a whole, the market is improving in all areas and in all price points, going up to about $500,000 in Bellingham, and $400,000 in the county. Above $500,000 (which I consider the “high-end” in our area) sales are up slightly, but it’s still very slow.

But a market rebound always works it’s way up. And a year ago, the under $250,000 range was stabilizing. Now we are seeing a bit of even appreciation in Bellingham under $250,000 and  we are seeing the market improve (and prices stabilize) up to $500,000 in Bellingham and most surrounding areas.

Here is the chart for Whatcom County. You can see active listings are down, and pending and closed sales have been up, compared the same months in 2011.