First let's look at the numbers, then we can try to make some sense of them.






%Chance Year to Year
YTD 6/30/2008


Year to Year

Units Sold 585 610 4.3% 465 -23.8%
Avg List $371,525 $389,283 4.8% $377,065 -3.1%
Avg Sold $363,049 $375,585 3.7% $366,805 -2.3%
Median Sold $304,000 $317,500 4.4% $305,000 -3.9%
DOM 65 91 40.0% 98 7.7%
% of List 97% 96%   97% 0.8%


Bellingham June 06 June 07 % Change Year to Year June 08 % Change Year-to-Year
Units Sold 312 185 15.4% 98 -34.7%
Avg List $382,993 $404,913 5.7% $412,111 1.8%
Avg Sold $374,145 $392,708 5.0% $404,082 2.9%
Median Sold $299,400 $324,750 8.5% $337,725 4.0%
DOM 56 78 39.3% 72 -7.7%
% of List 98% 97%   98%  

In looking at the tables above, it is obvious that the activity in the market has slowed considerably. Unit sales in June were down almost 35% from June sales in 2007, and were down more than total sales over the first 6 months of the year. On the other hand, prices in June bucked the trend thus far this year and were up a bit, particularly fueled by some strength in the $500,000 to $750,000 range. The $300,000 to $500,000 range continues to show the largest decline in number of units sold, although prices there are also showing small increases. Since that range is still almost 40% of the Bellingham market, stable prices there help to maintain the average and median.

Inventory is still down slightly from last year and pending sales were off 20% from last year at our mid-month check. This is the smallest monthly year-to-year decline in pending sales we have seen since last July, which was when this slowdown began. Interest rates are still good, but they have gradually been creeping up and they are expected to rise further by the end of the year. We don’t anticipate a collapse or the steep price declines that are being forecast for other areas of the country.

The market in Whatcom County outside Bellingham, particularly Sudden Valley (down 60% in volume) and Ferndale (down 52%), has been harder hit, but average price drops were 3 % to 4%. Lynden’s market, on the other hand, dropped less in volume (16.7%) and was up 8.5% in average sold price compared to June of last year. Birch Bay/Blaine, at a volume drop of 37.5%, tracked pretty close to Bellingham, but it suffered an 11% drop in average sold prices.

In summary, remember that these are the statistics for those homes in Whatcom County which have sold. They are the cream of the crop – best in price, location, condition and presentation. Buyers countywide last month paid an average of 97% of the list price for them (98% in Bellingham). Whether you are thinking of buying or selling, do your homework and be realistic in your expectations.

If you would like information about any specific areas, feel free to call us at (360) 527-8766 or email Lylene and we will get right back to you.