As soon as I tell people that I’m a real estate agent in Bellingham, I hear this question. Then I try to decide whether to give them the short answer or the long answer. This basically depends on whether they’re actually interested, or just making small talk.
It’s been better, but it’s not as bad as the national media would lead you to believe. Remember, they’re covering the entire country, and a relatively stable real estate market like Bellingham is not as headline-worthy as the plummeting values in Las Vegas.
In relation to many parts of the country (Arizona or Florida for example), we’re doing really well. In relation to Washington state, home prices in Bellingham are at the state average. The median home price in Bellingham (and the rest of Washington) has returned to the same level it was in 2005. Yes, home prices are down 10% since 2008. It sounds bad, but you have to remember that home prices were up 10% since three years before that. So, if you bought your house more than 5 years ago, it is probably worth more today.
It’s a great market for buyers, but is starting to return to a ‘neutral’ market, with buyers and sellers on more equal footing. So, if you’ve been waiting to sell a home, it might be time to put it out there. And if you’ve been looking to buy a home, take advantage of the selection and prices that are available right now. Additionally, interest rates on loans are low, encouraging the turnover of homes. I truly believe that the real estate market in Bellingham and the rest of Washington will recover and be stronger that ever, if for no other reason than it is a great place to live!
Check out this graphic from Zillow.com about Bellingham, WA home prices!