Whatcom keeps steady home sales heading into holidays

Sales activity for single-family homes and condominiums in Whatcom County continued soundly in November as the 2013 holiday season nears, according to the latest report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

NMLS real-estate brokers in Whatcom County reported 199 closed residential sales in November, a year-over-year increase of 3.65 percent. Brokers also reported 236 pending sales, a jump of 6.79 percent.

Local home sales prices also increased in November, according to NMLS data.

The county’s median sales price in November was $260,000, up 8.81 percent from the same month last year. The average sales price was $249,779, an increase of 4.56 percent.

Winter weather and holidays generally slow housing market gains, but activity in the Pacific Northwest remains strong compared to usual year-end trends, providing optimism for home sales next year, according to NMLS brokers.

Across the 21 counties represented by the NMLS in Washington state, closed sales in November were up 5.3 percent, compared to the same month last year. Pending sales rose 1.6 percent.

The region’s median selling prices also increased year-over-year by 4.86 percent.

NMLS brokers indicated that inventory shortages continue in several areas around the region, according to a news release accompanying the latest report. Shortages are still apparent in many Seattle neighborhoods.

Yet improved inventories in other areas, along with stabilizing home prices, fewer short sales and improved local economies were credited with helping keep real-estate markets stable, according to the NMLS.

Whatcom County had 5.44 months’ worth of home inventory in November, above a regionwide average of 3.33 months. An inventory of between four to six months is generally considered to be a sign of a balanced market.

Whatcom County residential sales
November 2013

Closed sales

Units sold: 199
Yearly change: 3.65 percent increase

Average sale price: $294,779
Yearly change: 4.56 percent increase

Median sale price: $260,000
Yearly change: 8.81 percent increase

Pending sales

Units pending: 236
Yearly change: 6.79 percent increase

Average list price: $279,819
Yearly change: 3.36 percent increase

Median list price: $249,900
Yearly change: 2.63 percent increase

Active listings

New listings: 200
Yearly change: 3.85 percent decrease

Total active: 1,283
Yearly change: 6.47 percent increase

Average list price: $367,063
Yearly change: 5.99 percent decrease

Median list price: $279,900
Yearly change: No change

Source: Northwest Multiple Listing Service

Evan Marczynski, staff reporter for The Bellingham Business Journal, can be reached at 350-647-8805, Ext. 5052, or evan@bbjtoday.com

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