Housing markets across region saw gains in 2013

Home sales and prices in residential markets around western Washington saw increases in 2013 compared to 2012, according to a report released last week by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

The NMLS, a member-owned real estate organization, includes more than 20,000 brokers in 21 counties in Washington state.

NMLS brokers reported 75,517 closed sales in 2013, an increase of nearly 17 percent from 2012. The area-wide median price on sales from last year was $270,000 (single-family homes and condominiums combined), up 10.2 percent from $245,000 in 2012.

Single-family home prices alone rose 10.2 percent in 2013 to $281,000. Condo prices were up 15.3 percent to $202,000.

The supply of homes around the region remained tight in certain areas, especially in King and Snohomish counties.

Area-wide home inventory, a measure of the residential properties available for purchase, ranged from 1.95 months’ worth to 3.86 months in 2013, according to the NMLS. Real-estate brokers generally consider a range of four to six months’ worth of inventory to indicate a balanced market,  favoring neither buyers or sellers.

Whatcom County’s market gains

Whatcom County’s residential sales were up 14.5 percent in 2013 compared to 2012, according to a recent analysis by Lylene Johnson, a real-estate agent at The Muljat Group in Bellingham.

The county’s median price on homes sold in 2013 increased by 4 percent to $259,950, according to Johnson. The number of residential sales also rose by 302 to 2,390 in 2013, which is the highest level for the county since 2007.

Bellingham’s sales increased by 17.6 percent in 2013 compared to 2012. The city’s median sale price rose 7.5 percent to $295,000 last year.

In other communities in Whatcom County, sales rose 32.5 percent in Sudden Valley, 27 percent in Blaine and Birch Bay, and 11.4 percent in Ferndale.

Lynden saw its residential sales drop by 9.2 percent in 2013, compared to the previous year. Its median sale price was unchanged.

Johnson indicated that while the county’s residential sales and home prices, both median and average, have risen steadily over the past two year, the market is still not performing at peak levels seen in 2006 and 2007, before the start of the Great Recession. Last year’s sales were 15 percent below those in 2006.

The average sale price in 2013 was 13 percent lower than it was in 2007, and the median price was 8 percent lower in comparison, according to Johnson’s analysis.

By the numbers
Whatcom County market activity in 2013

All of Whatcom County
Median sale price: $259,950 (up 4 percent from 2012)
Average sale price: $290,428 (up 2.9 percent)
Total homes sold: 2,390 (up 14.5 percent)
Average days on market: 100 (down 20 percent)

Median sale price: $295,000 (up 7.3 percent)
Average sale price: $341,258 (up 6 percent)
Total homes sold: 1,114 (up 17.6 percent)
Average days on market: 75 (down 28.6 percent)

Blaine/Birch Bay
Median sale price: $224,450 (down 2.4 percent)
Average sale price: $257,597 (down 10.5 percent)
Total homes sold: 282 (up 27 percent)
Average days on market: 129 (down 28.7 percent)

Median sale price: $267,000 (up 6.8 percent)
Average sale price: $271,705 (up 1.7 percent)
Total homes sold: 331 (up 11.4 percent)
Average days on market: 102 (up 19.7 percent)

Median sale price: $255,000 (unchanged)
Average sale price: $274,061 (down 0.2 percent)
Total homes sold: 207 (down 9.2 percent)
Average days on market: 97 (down 16.4 percent)

Mount Baker
Median sale price: $104,794 (up 9.2 percent)
Average sale price: $145,950 (up 3.6 percent)
Total homes sold: 150 (up 11.1 percent)
Average days on market: 169 (unchanged)

Nooksack Valley
Median sale price: $225,000 (up 8.2 percent)
Average sale price: $225,365 (up 4.2 percent)
Total homes sold: 85 (down 3.4 percent)
Average days on market: 134 (down 2.9 percent)

Sudden Valley
Median sale price: $210,000 (up 4.3 percent)
Average sale price: $224,018 (up 3.9 percent)
Total homes sold: 159 (up 32.5 percent)
Average days on market: 108 (down 7.7 percent)

Source: Data analysis by Lylene Johnson of The Muljat Group

Evan Marczynski, associate editor of The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 360-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or evan@bbjtoday.com.

Tags: , ,

Related Stories