More homes sold in first quarter, but at lower prices

The Bellingham Business Journal

More Whatcom County homes sold at a faster pace in this year’s first quarter compared to a year ago, but they’re being sold at lower prices.

The number of homes sold in the county rose 23.7 percent compared to the first quarter of 2009, led by a particularly sharp jump in Ferndale, said Lylene Johnson, a realtor from The Muljat Group who tracks home sales. Also, it took only an average of 97 days to sell a home, down 19.2 percent from 2009.

However, the median sales price countywide in the first quarter declined 6.5 percent to $242,000. In Bellingham, the median sales price dropped to $251,800, down 11.8 percent.

“I think the federal homebuyer tax credits, combined with the spring increase in inventory, have attracted more buyers into the market than a year ago,” Johnson said. “At the same time, there is a great deal of concern on the part of buyers that they not overpay for a home and an increased knowledge among sellers that their house has to be a good value and in good condition.”

Johnson provided the following first-quarter statistics and comparisons to the first quarter of 2009 for individual communities:

Whatcom County: Median sales price: $242,200, down 6.5 percent. Total homes sold: 392, up 23.7 percent. Average days on the market: 97, down 19.2 percent.

Bellingham: Median sales price: $251,500, down 11.8 percent. Total homes sold: 146, up 9.8 percent. Average days on the market: 83, down 21 percent.

Ferndale: Median sales price: $$240,700, down 4.9 percent; Total homes sold: 64, up 77.8 percent. Average days on the market: 92, up 4.5 percent.

Lynden: Median sales price: $266,475, up 3.1 percent. Total homes sold: 40, up 17.6 percent. Average days on the market: 124, up 18.1 percent.

Blaine/Birch Bay: Median sales price, $223,500, down 0.4 percent; Total homes sold, 59, up 28.5 percent. Average days on the market: 133, down 30.4 percent.

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