Home prices and sales rise in Whatcom County

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

Current Market Data for Whatcom County

Geneva Neighborhood

New listing to hit the market!

Incredible custom built Geneva home with huge Lake Whatcom views. Home features 4 bedrooms with 3.5 bath and designed with a craftsman style. Granite counter tops, high end fir trim, and spacious decking are just a few of the well appointed finishes this home has well located in hearth of Geneva and minutes from town. This is a must see!

For more information visit www.muljatgroup.com or give The Muljat Group Realtors a call at (360) 733-3030

Bellingham Waterfront Properties

Summer days are approaching quickly! That means it’s the perfect time of year to go and check out some great homes on the water in Bellingham and to get one step closer to buying your dream home right on the waterfront! Activity out on the lake has been booming lately, with seven homes sold from $749,000 to $1,600,000 in the last six months.

Currently there are a number of remarkable new listings on the market that are located on Northshore and Lake Whatcom. These homes offer breathtaking views and easy access to the water which is just steps away. Prices vary from $679,000 to $2,500,000 giving you many options to find the right home for YOU.

We’re here to help! Contact a Muljat Group agent today with any real estate questions you may have @ (360)733-3030 or visit http://muljatgroup.com/Lake_Whatcom_Real_Estate for more information.

Limited inventory while spring market is blooming

Figures from Northwest Multiple Listing Service show us an increase in pending sales, closed sales, and home prices while buyers are having to compete due to a limited inventory.

“The current inventory of homes available for sale has never been lower in my 22 years as a real estate broker,” said MLS director George Moorhead, who is also a broker and owner at Bentley Properties.

Recent numbers show that the volume of pending sales went up to 7,658 and exceeded the amount of new listings, at 6,989.

Others also say that we are entering February with a serious shortage of homes for sale, including those that are located in neighborhoods near job centers. This shortage is expected to continue through the springtime market. According to NWMLS, “Buyers need to be ‘buyer ready’ so they can react quickly. Brokers recommend getting preapproved for a mortgage, which can give potential buyers an edge in a fast-moving market.”

Home prices for single homes and condos are also higher than they were at this time a year ago. Single family home prices last month spiked by roughly 8.7 percent and condo prices have spiked more than 13 percent. King County expressed their highest median price which went up by 6.9 percent placing it at $390,000.

Moorhead believes that sellers are being hesitant and might be holding off for a couple major reasons, “Either they cannot find the next home to move up/down to, or they purchased between 2005 and 2007 and may still be underwater…this will bring an altogether new segment of buyers who are more savvy and cautious so they won’t repeat past mistakes.” He adds that there are new loan programs, revised loan programs, and a general easing of guidelines for buyers that help making home buying more attainable. He suggests that the one holdback is inventory or credit scores.

Overall, brokers are definitely seeing an increase in traffic at their open houses and the number of interested buyers, and advice of Real Estate agents to sellers at this time is “If you’re on the fence, it’s time to jump off. The market conditions are so much in your favor right now.”

REALTOR Lifetime Achievement Award!

The Muljat Group is proud to announce that Susan McDermott has been awarded the REALTOR Lifetime Achievement award! This award is designated by the Whatcom County Association of REALTORS and is given to those nominated by their own peers. The award demonstrates to clients that the agent has been a member of the REALTOR Association for minimum of 25 years and is still engaged in the active practice of the real estate. McDermott has also held numerous leadership roles in and professional service to real estate buyers. Congratulations Susan!

Whatcom County Home Sales Increase in 2014

Read more about the home sales increase of 2014 in this article.


Muljat Group Christmas Party 2014

The Muljat Group Realtors had a wonderful Christmas Party at the Fork at Agate Bay. The food was delicious and everyone had a great time socializing!

Muljat Group Realtors | 510 Lakeway Drive | Bellingham, WA | 360-733-3030 |

Home sales drop in Blaine/Birch Bay, rise in county

Home sales are down in Blaine and Birch Bay but up overall countywide for the third quarter of the fiscal year, according to a new study.

In a recent study conducted by Whatcom County realtors Muljat Group, 84 units were sold in the Blaine and Birch Bay area in the third quarter, down 7.7 percent from the 91 units sold in 2013. Countywide, 766 units were sold, up 5.1 percent from the same period in 2013. However, those numbers began to Homes-1show signs of slowing in September, which experts say is consistent with national trends.

“These are indicators that our market will remain stable at best, and could slide a bit,” said Lylene Johnson of the Muljat Group.

Home sales declined in Bellingham, Ferndale and Lynden throughout the month of September, but the countywide average was actually bolstered by a sharp increase in sales for the month in Blaine, Birch Bay, Sudden Valley and the Mount Baker foothills.

Birch Bay/Blaine was one of only two areas to post a decline in sales compared to the previous year. The Sudden Valley area of Bellingham saw sales drop 28 percent, with only 36 homes sold in 2014 compared to 50 sold in 2013.

Despite the drop in sales for the quarter, home values in the area are on the rise. The average price of the homes sold in Blaine and Birch Bay this quarter was $303,326, up 16 percent from the previous year. Median home prices are also up 17.3 percent, to $258,000. This puts Birch Bay and Blaine just below the countywide median home price of $277,000.

Home Sales stay strong, bur prices approaching “affordability ceiling” for some buyers

Pending sales of homes around Western Washington surged more than 13 percent in September compared to a year ago, and listing activity picked up slightly, fueling both broker optimism and words of advice for sellers.

Along with increases in the number of mutually accepted offers, the latest report from Northwest Multiple Listing Service shows year-over-year gains in the number of closed sales (up 4.6 percent) and prices (up 2.5 percent). Inventory for its service area, which encompasses 21 counties in Western and Central Washington, declined slightly (just under 1.2 percent).

Northwest MLS members reported 8,875 pending sales during September to outpace the year-ago total of 7,839 pendings. The volume tapered off about 5 percent from the August of 9,342 mutually accepted offers. All but one of the 21 counties served by the MLS reported year-over-year increases.

The number of closed sales for September also rose, climbing from 6,711 a year ago to 7,020 for a 4.6 percent increase. Prices on those sales were up 2.5 percent.

Muljat Group Realtors | 510 Lakeway Drive | Bellingham, WA | 360-733-3030 | www.muljatgroup.com |