Some locales still showing rise from 2018

WHATCOM — Buyers tapped their brakes on Bellingham home sales in the third quarter, but were cruising or accelerating elsewhere in Whatcom County, according to a local real-estate broker.

The median sales price of a Whatcom County home was $400,000 in the third quarter, up only 2% from the third quarter of 2018, according to Troy Muljat, owner and president of Bellingham-based Muljat Group Realtors. Muljat prepared his report based on data from the Northwest Washington Multiple Listing Service.

Bellingham’s median sales price rose only 1.1% to $472,900 in the third quarter, a dramatic change from the first half of the year when the median price jumped 14.1% in the first quarter and 10.7% in the second quarter. The number of Bellingham homes sold in the third quarter plunged 16.5%.

“Prices are finally plateauing in Bellingham and Whatcom County,” Muljat said. “Sales are down year over year and slightly over the quarter due to the larger increase in values over the past few years. We are starting to return to a more normal market.”

However, buyers were active in other county communities. Home sales in Birch Bay/Blaine soared 45.9% in the third quarter. The Lynden, Ferndale and Mount Baker markets each saw double-digit increases in their median sales prices. As a result, the number of homes sold in the entire county dropped by only 1.5% despite the falloff in Bellingham.  

These are the median sales price, average sales price, number of units sold and average days on the market (DOM) before a sale for the county and individual communities for the third quarter of 2019, with percentage comparisons to the third quarter of 2018:

  Whatcom County overall — Median price, $400,000, up 2.0%; average price, $443,738, up 3.3%; units sold, 898, down 1.5%; DOM, 40, up 2.6%.

  Bellingham — Median price, $472,900, up 1.1%; average price, $548,123, down 0.2%; units sold, 259, down 16.5%; DOM, 29, up 3.6%.

  Birch Bay/Blaine —Median price, $348,990, up 5.7%; average price, $419,078, up 12.7%; units sold, 143, up 45.9%; DOM, 54, down 12.9%.

  Ferndale — Median price, $409,500, up 10.5%; average price, $438,642, up 7.9%; units sold, 154, up 10.0%; DOM, 42, down 8.7%.

  Lynden — Median price, $413,500, up 13.2%; average price, $441,789, up 2.5%; units sold, 79, up 3.9%; DOM, 34, up 3.0%.

  Mount Baker — Median price, $315,000, up 90.9%; average price, $308,110, up 33.8%; units sold, 79, down 9.2%; DOM, 56, down 6.7%. 

  Nooksack Valley — Median price, $355,000, up 5.7%; average price, $368,997, up 5.4 %; units sold, 56, up 36.6%; DOM, 37, up 27.6%. 

  Sudden Valley — Median price, $340,000, down 4.2%; average price, $352,936, down 5.6%; units sold, 72, down 4.0%; DOM, 29, up 7.4%.