Whatcom housing prices increase, but data points to overpricing for homes on market

The number and price of homes sold in Whatcom County in July rose compared to the same month in 2014, according to the latest report from the Northwest Multiple Listings Service.

But the price of homes listed grew more than twice as fast as the price of homes that actually sold, which suggests that sellers are overpricing their homes.

In July, 372 homes sold in Whatcom County—a 21.97 percent year over year increase. The median sale price for those homes was $277,882. That’s a 4.86 percent increase from the median sale price of $265,000 in July 2014.

Sale prices have been increasing in Whatcom County and across western Washington in recent months and sellers may be paying too much attention to housing headlines and overpricing their homes, said Frank Wilson, branch managing broker at John L. Scott’s Poulsbo branch, in a NWMLS press release on the recent report.

The median price for active listings in July 2015 in Whatcom County increased by 11.86 percent when compared to July 2014. The median price for active listings in July 2015 was $334,450. That’s $56,000 more than the median price of homes that actually sold.

Housing inventory continued to drop in July, according to the NWMLS. There were 1,289 active listings on the market; That’s 24 percent fewer than in July 2014, when 1,697 homes were on the market.

Whatcom County has 3.47 months of housing inventory, according to the NMLS. In July 2014, the county had 5.56 months of supply. Many realtors consider 4-6 months a balanced inventory.

NWMLS figures show about 2.2 months of inventory system-wide in western Washington, according to a press release on the report. King County has the tightest supply, with less than 1.2 months of inventory.

Whatcom County housing market, July 2015
includes single-family houses and condominiums combined

Closed sales—Units: 372 (annual change: 21.97 percent increase); average sale price: $315,165 (annual change: 6.77 percent increase); median sale price: $277,882 (annual change: 4.86 percent increase).

Active listings—New: 490 (annual change: 1.4 percent decrease); total active: 1,289 (annual change: 24.00 percent decrease); average price: $421,074 (10.01 percent increase); median price: $334,450 (11.86 percent increase).

Pending sales—Units: 504 (annual change: 34.00 percent increase); average list price: $302,622 (annual change: 3.66 percent decrease); median list price: 269,900 (annual change: 1.86 percent decrease).

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