Median price in Whatcom County is right at $400,000

WHATCOM — County home sale prices rose nearly 5% in 2019 to $400,000, completing an amazing decade of 60 percent growth in the median sales price since 2010.

The countywide median sales price for all of 2019 increased 4.6 percent from 2018, the eighth consecutive year of rising since hitting a decade low of $242,000 in 2011, according to Troy Muljat, managing broker of Bellingham-based Muljat Group Realtors.

The decade started in the midst of the Great Recession with Whatcom County’s median price at $250,000 for all of 2010. Muljat prepared his report based on data from the Northwest Washington Multiple Listing Service.

The median point is where half the homes sold above that price and half sold below it.

Bellingham continued to lead the way in sales prices with its median price rising 6.8% in 2019 to $480,500, 71% higher than in 2010. The number of homes sold in the Bellingham market fell 4% to 928, the fourth straight year of its unit sales dropping.

But other Whatcom County communities with less expensive housing experienced a surge in unit sales. The number of homes sold in Whatcom County in 2019 increased 2.3% to 3,031, led by strong jumps in Nooksack Valley (up 23.6%), Birch Bay/Blaine (up 21.4%) and Ferndale (13.6%). Countywide home sales hit their low point for the decade of 1,844 in 2011, but have hovered around 3,000 since 2015.

“I see the new decade returning to more moderate levels of price appreciation, about 4% annually in Whatcom County,” Muljat said. “We still have positive migration wanting to move here. However, any significant rise in mortgage rates, currently around 3.5% to 4.5%, would keep prices in check.” 

Listed below, for the county overall and individual communities, are the median sales price, average sales price, number of units sold and average days on the market (DOM) before a sale, with percentage comparisons from 2019 to  2018. 

Whatcom County — Median price, $400,000, up 4.6%; average price, $442,413, up 5.7%; units sold, 3,031, up 2.3%; DOM, 46, down 6.1%.

Bellingham — Median price, $480,500, up 6.9%; average price, $552,048, up 6.0%; units sold, 928, down 4.0%; DOM, 33, down 13.2%.

Birch Bay/Blaine — Median price, $355,500, up 7.9%; average price, $411,832, up 12.4%; units sold, 432, up 21.4%; DOM, 62, up 3.3%.

Ferndale — Median price, $400,000, up 7.1%; average price, $420,984, up 5.8%; units sold, 519, up 13.6%; DOM, 48, down 2.0%.

Lynden — Median price, $397,000, up 1.8%; average price, $425,520, down 1.9%; units sold, 273, up 2.3%; DOM, 44, down 6.4%.

Mount Baker — Median price, $279,000, up 24%; average price, $292,541, up 13.3%; units sold, 267, down 5.7%; DOM, 66, down 4.4%. 

Nooksack Valley — Median price, $336,000, up 3.4%; average price, $354,965, up 8.2%; units sold, 173, up 23.6%; DOM, 43, up 2.4%. 

Sudden Valley — Median price, $350,000, down 0.4%; average price, $371,837, up 1.4%; units sold, 220, up 9.5%; DOM, 34, unchanged.