Things are looking up a bit in the Whatcom County Real Estate market.  Let’s look at some examples:

  • March was up strongly over February in both units sold and prices in most areas of the county.  This is a typical spring occurrence.  Bellingham sales increased 63%, average prices were up 15.8% and median price rose 7.2%.  Whatcom County sales increased 50%, average prices 18.5% and the median was up 11.2%.  All good.
  • Compared to March of 2011, the numbers were a bit more mixed, but still not too bad.  While Bellingham sales numbers were down 4.6%, that will probably change with some late reporting.  Whatcom County sales overall were up 9.7 %.  Average sale prices in Bellingham were up 7% over last March, while the median dropped 4.6%.  All of Whatcom County saw averages up 6.3% and the median down 0.4%.  Indications are that the market is holding steady relative to a year ago, with changes being relatively minor in most areas.
  • The first quarter relative to 2011 clearly showed the increased demand in areas outside Bellingham, with increases in number of homes sold from 15.0% in Blaine/Birch Bay to 51.7% in Lynden.  Bellingham sales were down 11.3% from the first 3 months of 2011.  Pricing was mixed, with the county as a whole, including Bellingham, down 4% in average prices and 6.3% in the median.



So, to summarize, the shift of activity from Bellingham to the county seems to be continuing, prices have softened since a year ago, but are showing a bit more strength over the past 2 months.

Sales numbers and prices are giving us some positive market indicators, and there are other factors worthy of attention. 

  • Last month we noted the decline in the number of short sale and bank owned properties listed for sale.  That continued in March.
  • Inventory levels are remaining extremely low.  As sales increase, there could be upward pressure on prices. Throughout the county, the average number of days a property is on the market before an accepted contract is down by 10.4% from last year, to 146 days.  23% are selling within 30 days, at almost 98% of list price.
  • While interest rates have bumped up a bit, they are still extremely low.
  • The distribution of sales in Bellingham in March showed more strength in the ranges over $300,000.  While the past few months had 70+% of sales in the under $300,000 range, March was back to a more typical under $300,000 percentage of 58.1%.  That could be the result of move up buyers as well as more incoming population.

In summary, underlying conditions are supportive of a stronger market through the spring.

If you are interested in charts and graphs on the local Bellingham and Whatcom County real estate markets choose from the list below to view:

If you are looking for more real estate information www.JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com also includes a constantly updated list of newly listed properties and a list of properties being offered as short sales & foreclosures (REOs), as well as the entire listing database of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, fully searchable to your specifications.