Reports from the Northwest Multiple Listing Services tell us that the number of Bellingham homes sold increased by 28.4 percent from last year while the median price for a home in Bellingham rose by 7.4% from 2014 to 2015, landing at $290,000.
Even higher prices were reached in Bellingham, which increased by 8 percent when comparing numbers to 2014. According to the NWMLS, the average price hit $389,867; an increase of 6 percent in just one year.
Realtor Lylene Johnson at the Muljat Group, who has been tracking data from the NWMLS for the past nine years, says that Bellingham accounted for only 37 percent of the county’s residential sales in the first six months of 2015, the lowest share that Johnson had ever seen. She adds, “We have extremely low inventory in Bellingham, down 36% from the end of June 2014.” She believes that because of this, buyers are more willing to look at Ferndale, Lynden, and the Birch Bay/Blaine markets when looking for a home.
The fact that the construction of new homes has slowed down in the recent months in Bellingham also plays a major role; sellers are using this to their advantage. Branch manager at the Bellingham John L Scott office, Darin Stenvers, notes that sellers have been given a fair amount of leverage in recent months. This can be seen as an issue as “…buyers are becoming more cautious as sellers demand too much.” Stenvers has seen situations in which buyers were required to withdraw from an offer as a result of sellers refusing to make any necessary repairs found during house inspections. He adds, “In the last few weeks I’ve seen more buyers realize that they don’t have to move as quickly and are not making rash decisions, I think a small market correction is taking place.”
Interestingly, we are seeing an increase of homes that are coming on the market specifically in the $300,000 to $500,000 price range, with more homes being listed at those prices than those under $300,000 in Bellingham in the month of July. Johnson points out, “What we are seeing is something similar to 2006 and 2007, when people were getting priced out of the Bellingham market.” According to Johnson, buyers are okay with having a longer commute into Bellingham to ”get more house for their money.”
For more information, visit http://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/article26619391.html
Source Dave Gallagher, “Whatcom County home sales rise, along with prices” The Bellingham Herald