3rd quarter Real Estate Numbers For Bellingham and Whatcom County

Amazing that we are already past the third quarter!

I know this chart is a little messy, but I wanted you to be able to see all the areas together.

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As you can see, Bellingham prices continue to float downward. Ferndale prices have fallen the most since the 3rd quarter of 08.

Blaine is getting an upturn in average price. Sudden Valley is seeing its first upturn and Lynden is holding steady.

The biggest factor effecting value right now is the huge decline in the number of sales. We are down from 8%-42%, depending on area, since last year and last year was down  from the year before.

When there is no demand, prices fall. Add to that, the foreclosures, short sales and the people who absolutely have to sell, and you put tremendous downward pressure on the market.

When people ask me “How’s the market?” I answer, “It depends on if you’re buying or selling.” If you are buying, there are some great opportunities at bargain prices, with low interest rates. If you are selling, knock it in the head and bury it quick.

Several of my clients ask if its better to wait it out. That’s a valid plan, but the wait is not going to be a short time.. Whenever the market finally bottoms out, it won’t just pop back up. It’s what they say about the stock market; It jumps out the window, then takes the stairs back up. Down is steeper and faster than up.

Expect stagnation at the bottom while we get people back to work and then a slow climb back up. Normal home appreciation is 4% annually. We have lost value at from 6-10%.

My advice: If you have some money and good credit, buy a property for your real estate portfolio. If you have to sell, now is the most money you’ll get for your property for a while.

The best plan: Buy the next house now and wait to sell the current house until the market rebounds. I know that doesn’t work for everyone, but if it works for you, think about it.  I’m always happy to brainstorm with you.