Q4 shows increase in price and number of homes sold

Whatcom County’s real estate market ended 2014 on a high note.

Home sales and prices in were strong in the beginning of the year, lagged in the middle, and finished strong, according to a report by Lylene Johnson, managing broker with the Muljat Group, based on data from the Northwest Multiple Listings Service.

The number of homes sold and the median price of homes sold in 2014 in Whatcom County were both the highest they have been since 2007, according to Johnson’s report. Total home sales in 2014 rose to 2,512, up 5.1 percent from 2013 numbers. Median price of homes sold in 2014 rose 7.7 percent to $280,000.

“The strongest growth for home sales and median price occurred in areas outside Bellingham,” Johnson said in the report.

The median home price in Bellingham in 2014 was 1.3 percent more than it was in 2013, while in Sudden Valley, the median price of homes sold in 2014 was up 7.6 percent when compared with 2013.

The strongest gains were in the Mount Baker neighborhood in the eastern part of the county, where median price in 2014 was up 28.8 percent from 2013 numbers, to $135,000.

Johnson predicted in the report that the housing market in 2015 could be off to a strong start, because the amount of pending sales – sales that haven’t yet closed – increased in the last months of 2014.

Last year also saw a subtle increase in the amount of homes that sold for more than $750,000, with 41 homes selling in that price range. That’s up from 31 in 2013. The amount of homes selling at other price levels stayed relatively steady.

By the numbers

The median sales price, average sales price, number of units sold and average days on the market (DOM) before a sale for the county and individual communities for all of 2014, with percentage comparisons to all of 2013.

Whatcom County – Median price, $280,000, up 7.7 percent; average price, $314,719, up 8.4 percent; units sold, 2,532, up 5.1 percent; DOM, 103, up 3.0 percent.

Bellingham – Median price, $298,883, up 1.3 percent; average price, $349,461, up 2.4 percent; units sold, 1,140, up 2.2 percent; DOM, 75, unchanged.

Birch Bay/Blaine – Median price, $230,000, up 3.6 percent; average price, $275,033, up 6.9 percent; units sold, 293, up 2.1 percent; DOM, 145, up 12.4 percent.

Ferndale – Median price, $267,500, up 0.9 percent; average price, $284,440, up 5.0 percent; units sold, 391, up 17.1 percent; DOM, 114, up 11.8 percent.

Lynden – Median price, $264,000, up 3.5 percent; average price, $287,131, up 4.3 percent; units sold, 225, up 7.7 percent; DOM, 105, up 8.2 percent.

Mount Baker – Median price, $135,000 up 28.8 percent; average price, $162,290, up 11.2 percent; units sold, 168, up 12.0 percent; DOM, 150, down 11.2%.

Nooksack Valley – Median price, $228,500, up 0.9 percent; average price, $237,667, up 5.2 percent; units sold, 104, up 19.5 percent; DOM, 98, down 26.3 percent.

Sudden Valley – Median price, $226,000, up 7.6 percent; average price, $235,361, up 5.4 percent; units sold, 160, down 0.6 percent; DOM, 112, up 3.7 percent.

Source: Lylene Johnson, The Muljat Group

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