April Market Snapshot

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By now I’m sure that everyone has heard that buyers are suffering from an inventory crunch in Bellingham. I’ve written before about measuring the supply of available inventory in the market by analyzing the Months of Inventory (MOI), based upon closed sales. As a rule of thumb, an inventory level of less than three months indicates a seller’s market, while an inventory level greater than six months indicates a buyer’s market. Bellingham overall currently has a paltry 1.8 months of supply. The result has been bidding wars and rising prices. So are there any opportunities for savvy buyers out there? It turns out there are.

Local real estate is always comprised of a number of smaller markets, and it helps to break things down. With a median price of $339,500, the majority of Bellingham’s sales are occurring in the under-$500,000 market. Looking at just the inventory in the $500k and under range, there is only 1.2 months of supply right now. Definitely a very strong seller’s market. However, looking at the $500k – $1 Million range, the available inventory goes up to 3.4 months, which by definition is a balanced market. The biggest opportunities for buyers exists in the high end. At $1 Million and higher the inventory shifts dramatically to 11.4 months, which is an overwhelming buyer’s market!

This is currently a fantastic time for buyers who are looking to move up that luxurious dream home. The question is, for how much longer? Last September the Seattle Times reported that Seattle had become the number one U.S. market for Chinese homebuyers. However, last month Realtor.com put together a study of web traffic to determine the top 10 markets for international buyers searching in the U.S. Bellingham comes in at number 3! International buyers are typically interested in high end properties for investment. If these internet searches turn into earnest buyers we have the real possibility of our $1 Million plus market exploding, and prices soaring out of sight. This could be your last best chance to move up to the high life while it’s still possible. Give me a call if you would like to explore options.