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 Achievemnet 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.

http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2015/01/05/4061865_whatcom-county-posts-steady-increases.html?sp=/99/100/&rh=1

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 |

WELCOME BRI WESTBURY

Muljat Group is pleased to announce that Bri Westbury has joined the group! She brings with her 10 years of exceptional entrepreneurial experience, including commendations from the Global Institute for Ethical Leadership. She is dedicated to serving her clients with integrity and precision in all of their real estate transactions. She is married to Josh Westbury, Scholar-in-Residence of Logos Bible Software. Together they have a vibrant 3 year old daughter. You can reach her at 360-220-8364 or bri@muljatgroup.com for your Real Estate needs.

Housing Activity in Western Washington

Housing activity in Western Washington ranges from “red hot” to “slowly healing”. Both the number of pending sales and the number of new listings added to inventory during April reached their highest levels in 11 months.

Closed sales of single family homes and condominiums were slightly below the year-ago volume, while the median sales price rose slightly (up about 1.9 percent). “The real estate market continues to show positive signs both locally and nationally,” stated John Deely, one of the directors of Northwest MLS.

MLS members reported 9,590 pending sales of single family homes and condominiums during April, about even with the same period a year ago when brokers tallied 9,600 mutually accepted offers. Last month’s total marks the highest level since May 2013 when the MLS reported 10,045 pending sales across its 21-county area.

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

Consider re-locating to a home near Lake Whatcom!

Thinking about re-locating? Consider re-locating to a home near Lake Whatcom, which happens to be the largest lake in the Bellingham WA and Whatcom County area! Lake Whatcom is over 8 miles long and, in places, more than a 1/2 mile wide. It is surrounded by heavily forested mountains and delightful neighborhoods. There are beautiful parks, numerous trails, good boating and fishing available.

Let’s search Lake Whatcom Real Estate here!

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