The first half of 2021 produced record-breaking sales, home prices, and overall intensity in the market like we have never seen. Seeing 12+ offers on many homes became the norm, inventory dropped to all-time lows, and home prices have surged upwards.
As we enter the mid-summer, we are starting to see some relief in the intensity of the market as inventory ticks up, but the market is still incredibly hot in just about every price segment and market area of Bellingham & Whatcom County. Let’s review the numbers for the last 6 months, what they mean, and then what is likely happening next;
The first half of 2021 by the numbers (year to date),
Sales – Up 23.4% year to date.
Home Values – Median Sold Price $553,000 (for single-family Whatcom County). And $651,000 for Bellingham.
Home Appreciation – Up 17.6%.
Interest Rates – 3.1% average.
Where are the buyers coming from?
Everywhere. With so many buyers able to now work from anywhere due to the pandemic shifting many tech jobs specifically to be work-from-home, we have buyers entering our market from all over the country. Specifically, we are seeing a huge spike in Seattle area buyers making the move up, as well as buyers from California.
Spring is typically when we see the most intense market, so we can likely count on a less intense market for the rest of the year. But we don’t see any major relief for home buyers. In the higher-end inventory is increasing, but below $750k in Bellingham, the inventory remains just below a 1 month supply….which means we will still see upward pressure on pricing.
See the chart above. What you want to see is the light green “For Sale” listings outpacing sales. And that is what we normally see. But you can see that right after the pandemic hit, inventory started shrinking. Our inventory is still well below what we normally see. Yet pending and closed sales have rebounded stronger than ever. Add in that new construction starts have been slow to get going, and you have the perfect storm for an intense Real Estate market to continue.
Our company CEO, J. Lennox Scott, is projecting strong sales and home appreciation through the spring of 2022 for the Pacific Northwest Region. Meaning we have another 12 months of this before expecting to see prices flatten and a more balanced market.
Based on the numbers we see in our local market of Bellingham & Whatcom County, we have come to the same conclusion.
What are we doing about it?
Our brokerage firm is having a record year, and that includes gaining market share and outperforming the Whatcom Real Estate industry. Part of that comes from our industry expertise and intense on-going training as a firm. We have also been rolling out new programs to help our clients gain an edge in this intense market. This includes our Market Ready Plus to help sellers get top dollar, and Buyer Ready Plus to help clients get bridge loans in the process of buying before selling.
Reach out to us if you need any help navigating this market! We have brokers available 24/7 for a Real Estate consultation or to answer questions.