The Shelter in Place order has definitely slowed down what was a very hot Real Estate market in Bellingham and through out Whatcom County, but their is still those that need to buy and sell…and need to move. Hundreds if not thousands of letters and calls came in to Governor Inslee’s office when the Shelter in Place notice came out not allowing any Real Estate activitiy other then escrow signing. But this was revised on 3/27 to allow for the following: 
-1 person at a time home showings.
-Home inspections.
-Escrow signing.

-Moving companies with social distancing in place.

What is currently still not considered an essential service , is hiring a professional photographer for a listing and doing open houses. 

This was excellent news for the Real Estate industry. We have clients that need to relocate for work or other critical reasons. We have sellers with empty homes they are paying mortgages on that they need to sell. And Real Estate is clearly a major part of keeping the economy going to some degree.

So this is striking a good balance in my opinion. As we will continue to work from home as Realtors and most clients will hold off on buying and selling during this period.

But in the last 2 weeks, activity has not been off that much yet. Single family home sales for the last 2 weeks in Whatcom County include 234 new listings, 134 pending sales, and 125 closings. So far closings are only down about 2% year over year. But April will be more interesting to track. We are expecting home values to remain flat in the short term, but sales to be down at least 25-50%. As so many are delaying moving plans unless it’s absolutely necessary. We are going to continue to track this day by day.