We are about three quarters of the way through the year and the market is just now settling down!
We went from about a 2-month supply at the beginning of 2021, down to under a 1-month supply by the end of the spring. That inventory shortage has remained all summer. If you are under a 1 month supply, that means more homes are selling than are coming on the market. That puts tremendous pressure on pricing.
A positive is in the last 2 weeks, we have seen a slight decrease in sales and increase in inventory. That is a good sign for home buyers. And overall, selection and inventory has increased this summer. That has allowed many home buyers to get into a home without being in a bidding war with 5-10 other buyers, as was often the case in the spring.
Here is a quick snapshot of where we things stand right now:
Interest rates average 2.9%
Bellingham home prices Up 18.1% year to date.
Bellingham sales are up 19% year to date.
Whatcom County sales are up 17.7%
Whatcom County sales are up 20% year to date.
Typically this time of year heading into the fall, home prices level out, and stay mostly flat through the winter. Most home appreciation occurs in the spring. That definitely looks to be the case heading into this fall and winter.
Last years pandemic pushed back the spring market in 2020 to a late summer surge. This year, the sales cycle is more predictable and in line with prior years.
See chart below. You can see inventory decreases every fall and winter, but at about the same rate as a decrease in demand.
What does that mean for you? That means if you are a buyer, this fall and winter present an opportunity. We believe home prices will be pushed up further in most prices ranges in Whatcom County this spring. And with things less hectic and a little more balanced, some good buys will emerge if you stay patient and diligent.
If you are considering selling, it really depends on your situation. If you are buying and selling at the same time, it is all about when you find that right home (or when the timing is right for you). If you are looking to sell an investment property, you may want to wait until the spring. But if you are nervous about things changing, certainly now is still a great time to sell. We are predicting more appreciation in the spring, but obviously we don’t have a crystal ball.