This is a re-share from an article that we contributed to for Bellingham.com/relocate
Home values are rebounding as low supply and strong demand keep the Bellingham Real Estate market strong.
Rapidly rising interest rates in the 2nd half of 2022, slowed down home sales and created a market adjustment throughout the Bellingham and Whatcom County Real Estate. “Home prices peaked in June of 2022 from a spring frenzy market, and then home values steadily declined as much as 10% by the end of 2022 (due to interest rates going up)” reports Paul Balzotti, Broker/Owner of John L. Scott Real Estate Bellingham. “Higher rates and lack of inventory slowed down sales considerably through the winter and early spring months”.
Home sales were down 20% year over year through the first quarter of 2023.
The 2nd quarter has been a different story. As interest rates have dropped down from as high as 7%, down closer to 6%, buyers seem to have adjusted to the rates. “As the weather improved, activity has bounced back, and we are even seeing multiple offers again in the low to median price points”. Balzotti points to the lack of supply and strong demand being the biggest factor. “We still have steady population growth, with relocating buyers moving here for retirement or lifestyle.” “We have a severe lack of new construction availability for both residential and condominiums. Going into April, Bellingham had only a 1-month supply of inventory under $1 million. That means for every home that was listed, there was 1 pending. The result of that is we are seeing home values jumping back up a bit, as buyers are competing for nearly every new listing that hits the market”.
John L. Scott Real Estate releases a housing forecast every year as a company for the Pacific Northwest. The forecast has been as predicted so far, with home sales down, but home values steady and even slowly increasing again. “It is difficult when you are locked into a 3% interest rate, to want to make a move and lock in at 6%. But when you live in a city with steady population growth & growing amenities (like new parks, trails, breweries and more), it’s safe to count on the strength of this market for the remainder of 2023, and moving forward from there”. As far as housing affordability, Balzotti talked about that being a continued issue. “Rental rates are leveling out as apartment housing supply has increased, so renters have more options. And for home buyers, there is more new construction housing at more affordable price points in both Blaine and moving east out into Maple Falls.” “So I think what we will see is increased development around these more affordable areas like Blaine”. “Bellingham continues to be one of the hotter Real Estate markets to invest in within Washington state.”
See John L. Scott’s 2023 housing update at whatcom.johnlscott.comhousingupdate.com
You can also view all listings from all companies at johnlscott.com
Source: John L Scott Real Estate
Whatcom County Home Prices
Residential Numbers (12-month cycle) Information updated May 2023
|Whatcom County||Up 6% $600,000||Up 6% $661,587||2,583 down 20%|
|Bellingham||Up 9% $680,000||Up 10% $789,495||1,091 Down 20%|
|Birch Bay/Blaine||Up 11% $550,000||Up 2% $608,312||335 down 19%|
|Ferndale||Up 8% $610,000||Up 4% $633,523||361 down 24%|
|Lynden||Up 8% $565,000||Up 10% $614,606||352 down 17%|
|Mount Baker||Down 1% $326,250||Up 2% $378,449||31 down 21%|
|Nooksack Valley||Up 3% $495,000||Up 4.5% $527,388||157 down 18%|
|Sudden Valley||Up 15% $535,000||Up 24% $521,651||187 down 27%|