After a historical year for sales and home appreciation in Bellingham and throughout Whatcom County, the market is finally starting to slow down a bit heading into the fall.
We went from about a 2 month supply at the beginning of 2021, down to under a 1 month supply by the end of the spring. That inventory shortage has remained all summer. If you are under a 1 month supply, that means more homes are selling than are coming on the market. That puts tremendous pressure on pricing.
A positive is in the last 2 weeks, we have seen a slight decrease in sales and an increase in inventory. That is a good sign for home buyers. And overall, selection and inventory have increased this summer. That has allowed many homebuyers to get into a home without being in a bidding war with 5-10 other buyers, as was often the case in the spring.
Here is a quick snapshot of where things stand right now:
Interest rates average 2.9%
Bellingham home prices Up 18.1% year to date.
Bellingham sales are up 19% year to date.
Whatcom County sales are up 17.7%
Whatcom County sales are up 20% year to date.
Typically this time of year heading into the fall, home prices level out and stay mostly flat through the winter. Most home appreciation occurs in the spring. That definitely looks to be the case heading into this fall and winter.
Last year’s pandemic happening in the spring, pushed back the spring market in 2020 to a late-summer surge. This year, the sales cycle is more predictable and in line with prior years.
See chart below. You can see inventory decreases every fall and winter, but at about the same rate as demand.
Whatcom County Real Estate
What does that mean for you? That means if you are a buyer, this fall and winter present an opportunity. We believe home prices will be pushed up further in most prices ranges and communities in Whatcom County this spring. And with things less hectic and a little more balanced, some good buys will emerge if you stay patient and diligent.
If you are considering selling, it really depends on your situation. If you are buying and selling at the same time, it is all about when you find the right home (or when the timing is right for you). If you are looking to sell an investment property, you may want to wait until the spring. But if you are nervous about things changing, certainly now is still a great time to sell. We are predicting more appreciation in the spring, but we don’t have a crystal ball.