March 9, 2012

Bellingham Real Estate Market Snapshot

Could it be? Has the market "bottomed out" as news articles are reporting?  It's hard to make this big of a projection or statement, but I will agree that inventory is shrinking.  I want to share what I am witnessing in our market as well as the data to substantiate this shift we're seeing.
Here are the statistics for both Residential and Condo properties in Whatcom County :
       
                                            February/2011                                  February/2012                                       
Active                                             1487                                                       1232
Pending                                            384                                                        428
Closed/Sold                                     219                                                         246
Avg. Sale Price:
Residential                                $265723                                                  $240930
Condo                                        $225225                                                  $189170
DOM ( time on market)                160                                                          124

 As you can see, our inventory is down for Whatcom Co. and with this reduction the amount of time houses are on the market is being reduced.  There just is not enough of a selection for buyers to choose from and therefore, properties are going under contract quickly. Reduced prices and low interest rates are also helping this situation.

A year ago buyer's could be more selective as the inventory was greater and a buyer had time to look around and wait, but now, that's not the case.  If a buyer waits,  the choices are gone.  Here are a few examples of what I experienced this past week:
 Bidding Wars -  I was just involved in one this past week on a Fantastic home in Edgemoor.  It was dated but had good bones.  Also, this was its first day out on the market.  My buyers threw their hat into the ring with a full price offer. After learning there was another offer on the table higher than full price,  my buyers upped their ante by $5000 dollars. By the next morning there were 3 other offers on the table and one substantially higher.  My buyers chose not to increase their offer and bowed out.
I had a similar situation happen last weekend, showed a new listing ( 5 DOM) to clients and it too had already had an offer on the table.  My clients did not want to " fight it out".  So we are still looking.
Another good example, is a property I listed in early February.  It is in a great price point( low 200's), is in very good condition and in a great location.  We  received a full price offer the first day on the market from a pre-approved, qualified buyer.  I chose to follow through with my scheduled Open House that weekend and met 3 other qualified buyers.
The bottom line is DO NOT HESITATE .  If you see something you like, grab it quickly because it will not last long.  This is a different mindset than the last couple of years.  It clearly is no longer a buyer's market.
For sellers, it couldn't be a better time to sell.  First, as the data shows, there is not enough inventory for buyers.  Second, low interest rates and there are qualified buyers.  Also, more good news,  according to USA TODAY, the US added 277,000 jobs in February.   If you have been waiting to put your home on the market, I suggest get it prepped and ready now as the "selling season" is quickly upon us.  You don't want to miss this opportunity.
Contact  or call Roberta direct at 360-303-3898 for more information about Bellingham, WA Homes for Sale or with any questions that you might have about the market, financing  or how to prepare your home to sell.
 I look forward to assisting you with your real estate goals whether you are a home buyer or home owner.
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