Months Supply of Inventory is staying steady at .8 months - it's still a 62% decline from the same time last year. Unfortunately, the inventory of homes is staying steady despite an influx of new listings. I know I sound like a broken record, but demand continues to exceed supply! One theory is that while many people are re-assessing their lives, the impact on Whatcom County is that residents understand they have a good life here, and people outside Whatcom County are actively searching for a lifestyle that Whatcom County provides. I don't see when this dynamic will change, which means inventory levels will remain low and prices will continue to climb. Even when we reach a market slowdown, I believe that Whatcom County will see prices continue to climb, but just at a less rapid pace.
We are continuing to see new listing activity rise. This is likely a reflection of Sellers who chose to wait until they could see the light at the end of the COVID tunnel and also Sellers who recognize that with low interest rates and excessive demand, now is a great time to sell. New listings in April were up 52% from April of 2020! But wait, there's more - pending sales are up 69% from last year! April 2020 was the beginning of uncertainty related to what COVID would mean for the real estate market. Closed sales took a big jump in April compared to March, so again we are seeing demand outpacing supply. With this type of activity, I worry that Sellers will get greedy, which can contribute to a market slowdown. But we continue to see homes selling for 4-5% above list price!
As we get closer to Spring, we expect the number of new listings to rise. This has happened in March (306 new listings) compared to February (236 new listings). But pending sales surpasses these new listings dramatically - a 48% increase compared to last year and 36% increase compared to February. Not surprisingly, this is driving prices up.
While Median and Average list prices are up from last year, they took a big dip in February from January. I expect this is an anomaly, and we will see average prices to climb higher in the coming months. Days on market were also up in February, but with less than one month's supply of inventory and no expected influx of lots of new listings, I expect the days on market to drop in the coming months.
New listings and pending sales (pending sales are a reflection of current demand) are both up compared to January of last year. Days on market has gone up slightly since December, but are still much lower than a year ago. The average sales price continues to climb - nearly a whopping 30% over the same time last year. Inventory is driving these numbers - less than one month's inventory means that even in a typically slow month like January, demand exceeds supply BY A LOT.
I've been reading that December, not surprisingly, experienced a slight slowdown in the real estate market. Between the holidays and COVID, this is not the least bit surprising. But as you'll see from this December market report for Whatcom County, the same is not true locally. While new listings are up over 30%, closed sales are up 18%, and pending sales (a more current reflection of Buyer interest/activity) are up 7%. But the most amazing number is the average/median price increase in ONE YEAR: 24-26%!Low interest rates can't keep up with those price increases, to make homes more affordable. But speaking of low interest rates, the average 30-year mortgage hit an all-time low of 2.65% this week, according to data from Freddie Mac. But, as Inman News reports: "The forces behind plummeting rates are also starting to shift, according to Khater, so economists shouldn’t abandon the position that rates will climb in 2021 after one contrary week."
New listings were up nearly 16% in November, but pending sales were up 29%! Like a broken record, that means that inventory levels remain very low during a time period where we are experiencing higher than normal demand. Having one month of home inventory was unheard of, but something we have experienced many times in the last 2 years. And now we are seeing that ridiculous low inventory during what is typically a very slow time of the year, real-estate wise. These numbers are reflected in the days on market, which dropped 32% since October and home prices, which have increased 9-13% in the past year! If we look at zip code 98225, which cover most of Bellingham's Southside and downtown, those numbers are even more noteworthy. While the average sales price is only up 1% from last year, 98225's median sales price has increased 34% in the last year! Months Supply of Inventory is down to .7%, in spite of a 73% increase in new listings, compared to a year ago. Pending sales are also up 35%.
New listings are relatively unchanged, compared to a year ago. Sales continue to outpace the prior year, as many Buyers are choosing Whatcom County to be their home. This trend should continue, as pending sales are also up, compared to last October. Average days on market was already low, but dropped nearly 36% to 27 average days on market, which is remarkable. And the average sales price is 18% higher than October of 2020.
While new listings increased slightly compared to a year ago, they can't keep up with a 39% increase in pending sales and 30% increased in sold home. Average days on market was already low, but dropped 21%. And the average sales price has increased 22% in one year in Whatcom County!
What an August! In spite of new listings being down nearly 12%, pending sales were up over 37%. Remember that Pending Sales is a reflection of consumer confidence. Not surprisingly, homes are on the market for less time with homes selling higher than list price - many agents can tell you how they have experienced bidding wars. All this activity has netted a 50% drop in home inventory in Whatcom County in one month!
Despite COVID, home prices have increased over 13% in the last year.
The good news: new listings have increased slightly. The bad news: pending sales increased nearly 37% over June. We see the net results by comparing the Months Supply of Inventory - July is at 1.9 months, compared to 2.9 months in June - a huge drop.
Despite COVID, home prices have increased nearly 12% over last year.
It's not surprising that new listings are down - reports show that Sellers are delaying listing their homes, due to COVID concerns. In addition, Sellers are worried about finding a home to move to after their own home is sold, due to very limited inventory.
This is at the same time that demand has increased in Whatcom County.
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