2007, through the first quarter, is still holding its own against activity levels and prices in 2006, although this is primarily due to strong January sales. The number of units sold in March 2007 relative to March 2006 declined slightly in every area except Birch Bay/Blaine. The number of residential units sold in Bellingham is up 5.6% over 1st quarter 2006, even though March sales were down 3.2%. Average Bellingham prices increased by 3.1% in the 1st quarter while Whatcom County as a whole ticked up 4.3%, driven by strong increases in both Ferndale and Sudden Valley.
Inventory levels are still much higher (555 units at the end of March 2007 compared with 444 at the same time in 2006), but the number of homes with pending sales have risen to near 2006 levels.
The surge in sales which is typical of March definitely occurred, although it was weaker than 2006. However, the strong pending sales we are seeing may bode well for the April and May numbers. Stay tuned, and we will keep you posted.
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