15,014 Homes Sold Yesterday… Did Yours?

15,014 Homes Sold Yesterday… Did Yours? | MyKCM

There are some homeowners that have been waiting for months to get a price they hoped for when they originally listed their house for sale. The only thing they might want to consider is… If it hasn’t sold yet, maybe it’s not priced properly.

After all, 15,014 houses sold yesterday, 15,014 will sell today and 15,014 will sell tomorrow.


That is the average number of homes that sell each and every day in this country, according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR)  latest Existing Home Sales Report. NAR reported that sales are at an annual rate of 5.48 million. Divide that number by 365 (days in a year) and we can see that, on average, over 15,014 homes sell every day.

The report from NAR also revealed that there is currently only a 3.8-month supply of inventory available for sale, (6-months inventory is considered ‘historically normal’).

This means that there are not enough homes available for sale to satisfy the buyers who are out in the market now in record numbers.

Bottom Line

We realize that you want to get the fair market value for your home. However, if it hasn’t sold in today’s active real estate market, perhaps you should reconsider your current asking price. Call Johnson Team Real Estate today at (360) 303-2734 or email us at info@johnsonteamrealestate.com.

What’s Happening in the Bellingham Real Estate Market?

We are constantly amazed at the intensity of the current market.  Home owners are often selling their homes in a matter of hours, with multiple offers and at prices in excess of the list price.  The flip side is Buyers who have made numerous offers, but always seem to fall a little bit short and are feeling, “What in the heck do I have to do to buy a house?”

Market Snap Shot april 17

It’s clear in looking at the chart, that the disconnect is a shortage of homes relative to the number of active buyers.  You’ll see that in Bellingham in 2017 (as of last week) there are 95 homes available to purchase & 119 pending.  Compare this to the years 2010 to 2016.  During this period, there were plenty of homes (choices) & not that many buyers competing against each other.

So the question for Buyers & Sellers becomes, as we move into Spring & Summer, will more inventory become available as it historically has or will it remain a tight market?

Our Crystal Ball tells us that while there will be more inventory, the inventory will be snapped up quickly by Buyers who are hungry to buy at current prices & interest rates.  The shortage of inventory is compounded in Bellingham, at least, by the unavailability of building lots, by sellers who are unwilling to put their homes on the market without knowing where they are going to move to or by Sellers who are unwilling to give up their current mortgage of 3.35% for a new 30 year fixed @ 4.25%.  If rates continue to increase, the inventory valve will tighten even more.

I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, but the net result is inventory grid lock.

If you or your friends have questions about how to successfully navigate through this maze, give us a call. We’d be happy to share our thoughts & expertise with you. Call Johnson Team Real Estate today at (360) 303-2734 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com today!

A Tale of Two Markets: Inventory Mismatch Paints a More Detailed Picture

A Tale of Two Markets: Inventory Mismatch Paints a More Detailed Picture | MyKCM

The inventory of existing homes for sale in today’s market was recently reported to be at a 3.6-month supply according to the National Association of Realtors latest Existing Home Sales Report. Inventory is now 7.1% lower than this time last year, marking the 20th consecutive month of year-over-year drops.

Historically, inventory must reach a 6-month supply for a normal market where home prices appreciate with inflation. Anything less than a 6-month supply is a sellers’ market, where the demand for houses outpaces supply and prices go up.

As you can see from the chart below, the United States has been in a sellers’ market since August 2012, but last month’s numbers reached a new low.

A Tale of Two Markets: Inventory Mismatch Paints a More Detailed Picture | MyKCM

Recently Trulia revealed that not only is there a shortage of homes on the market in general, but the homes that are available for sale are not meeting the needs of the buyers that are searching.

Homes are generally bucketed into three groups by price range: starter, trade-up, and premium.

Trulia’s market mismatch score measures the search interest of buyers against the category of homes that are available on the market. For example: “if 60% of buyers are searching for starter homes but only 40% of listings are starter homes, [the] market mismatch score for starter homes would be 20.”

The results of their latest analysis are detailed in the chart below.

A Tale of Two Markets: Inventory Mismatch Paints a More Detailed Picture | MyKCM

Nationally, buyers are searching for starter and trade-up homes and are coming up short with the listings available, leading to a highly competitive seller’s market in these categories. Ninety-two of the top 100 metros have a shortage in trade-up inventory.

Premium homebuyers have the best chance of less competition and a surplus of listings in their price range with an 11-point surplus, leading to more of a buyer’s market.

“It leaves Americans who are in the market for a home increasingly chasing too fewer options in lower price ranges, and sellers of premium homes more likely to be left waiting longer for a buyer.”

 Lawrence Yun, NAR’s Chief Economist doesn’t see an end to this coming any time soon: 

“Competition is likely to heat up even more heading into the spring for house hunters looking for homes in the lower- and mid-market price range.”

Bottom Line

Real estate is local. If you are thinking about buying OR selling this spring, let’s get together to discuss the exact market conditions in your area.

Johnson Team Real Estate is here to help you with all your Bellingham and Whatcom County Real Estate needs!  Call us today at (360) 303-2734 or email at at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com .

The Impact of Homeownership on Family Health

The Impact of Homeownership on Family Health | MyKCM

The National Association of Realtors recently released a study titled ‘Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing.’ The study confirmed a long-standing belief of most Americans:

“Owning a home embodies the promise of individual autonomy and is the aspiration of most American households. Homeownership allows households to accumulate wealth and social status, and is the basis for a number of positive social, economic, family and civic outcomes.”

Today, we want to cover the section of the report that quoted several studies concentrating on the impact homeownership has on the health of family members. Here are some of the major findings on this issue revealed in the report:

  • There is a strong positive relationship between living in poor housing and a range of health problems, including respiratory conditions such as asthma, exposure to toxic substances, injuries and mental health. Homes of owners are generally in better condition than those of renters.
  • Findings reveal that increases in housing wealth were associated with better health outcomes for homeowners.
  • Low-income people who recently became homeowners reported higher life satisfaction, higher self-esteem, and higher perceived control over their lives.
  • Homeowners report higher self-esteem and happiness than renters. For example, homeowners are more likely to believe that they can do things as well as anyone else, and they report higher self-ratings on their physical health even after controlling for age and socioeconomic factors.
  • Renters who become homeowners not only experience a significant increase in housing satisfaction but also obtain a higher satisfaction even in the same home in which they resided as renters.
  • Social mobility variables, such as the family financial situation and housing tenure during childhood and adulthood, impacted one’s self-rated health.
  • Homeowners have a significant health advantage over renters, on average. Homeowners are 2.5 percent more likely to have good health. When adjusting for an array of demographic, socioeconomic, and housing–related characteristics, the homeowner advantage is even larger at 3.1 percent.

Bottom Line

People often talk about the financial benefits of homeownership. As we can see, there are also social benefits of owning your own home. If you are interested in making your homeownership dreams a reality call Johnson Team Real Estate today at (360) 303-2734 or email us today at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com, we’d be happy to help!

The Great News About Rising Prices for Homeowners

The Great News About Rising Prices for Homeowners | MyKCM

Recently there has been a lot of talk about home prices and if they are accelerating too quickly. As we mentioned before, in some areas of the country, seller supply (homes for sale) cannot keep up with the number of buyers out looking for a home, which has caused prices to rise.

The great news about rising prices, however, is that according to CoreLogic’s US Economic Outlook, the average American household gained over $11,000 in equity over the course of the last year, largely due to home value increases.

The map below was created using the same report from CoreLogic and shows the average equity gain per mortgaged home from June 2015 to June 2016 (the latest data available).

The Great News About Rising Prices for Homeowners | MyKCM

For those who are worried that we are doomed to repeat 2006 all over again, it is important to note that homeowners are investing their new-found equity in their homes and themselves, not in depreciating assets.

The added equity is helping families put their children through college, invest in starting small businesses, allowing them to pay off their mortgage sooner or move up to the home that will better suit their needs now.

Bottom Line

CoreLogic predicts that home prices will appreciate by another 5% by this time next year. If you are a homeowner looking to take advantage of your home equity by moving up to your dream home, let’s get together to discuss your options!

If you want to talk about the Bellingham and Whatcom County Real Estate Market, Johnson Team Real Estate is here! Call us today at (360) 303-2734 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com

2016 Whatcom County Real Estate Report

Bellingham Real Estate Market 2016 marked the 5th straight year of real estate sales and price increases in Whatcom County, which we probably all knew, particularly if we bought or sold a house recently.  However, the changes in the Whatcom County market have not been equal in all areas, which may give us a glimpse of how the County will change over time.


Let’s start with some basic numbers:

  • While the number of total home sales in Whatcom County increased by 50% over the past 5 years (to 3145 from 2088), the percentage of increase by area varies from a low of 13.6% in Lynden to a high of 106% in the Mt Baker area.


  • While the number of homes sold over the past 5 years in every area was up, the percentage of the market held by the areas changed, with Bellingham dropping from 45% to 36% of the market, Lynden dropping from 11% to 8% and other areas picking up their losses.


  • Average sale prices throughout the county have increased since 2012, with an average increase county wide of 22%.  The greatest percentage increase was in the Mt Baker area…up almost 52%…and the least percentage increase was in Birch Bay/Blaine…up just 7.5%.  Other areas saw average price increases of 20% to 30%.  Median sale prices were up across the board.


  • The homes that sold went faster over the past 5 years…almost twice as fast as in 2012…but there were still homes that didn’t sell.


The number of homes for sale in Whatcom County as of December 31st was down about 30% from last year at this time.  Typically, inventory increases when the holidays are over, but we aren’t anticipating the market to loosen up in 2017.

Do you have specific question about the Bellingham and Whatcom County Real Estate markets? Johnson Team Real Estate is here to answer you questions! Call us today at (360) 303-2734 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com.


2016 was a Big Year for Real Estate In Whatcom County!

j-team-signDid you see Lylene’s Bellingham and Whatcom County real estate statistics featured in The Bellingham Herald today?

Lylene states, “Agents had a banner year in 2016, selling 3,145 homes in Whatcom County, a 5.1 percent increase compared to the previous year, according to Lylene Johnson of The Muljat Group. Her report is based on data from the Northwest Washington Multiple Listing Service, which focuses on transactions done by agents.”


Click here to read the complete Bellingham Herald article!

Curious how the changes in the market have impacted your home’s value?

Click to receive a FREE Home value report today!


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What’s Happening In Our Real Estate Market?

j-team-signHave you checked out Lylene Johnson’s real estate market statistics featured in today’s Bellingham Herald?

Here’s a quote from the article, “What’s happening is there are less starter homes available in Bellingham so more people are buying (those homes) outside of Bellingham,” Johnson said. “I think there are people that want to live in Bellingham, but can’t afford it.”

Read’s Lylene’s full market report on our website today for information on the Bellingham and Whatcom County Real Estate markets including pricing and number of homes sold.”

You can also access the Bellingham Heralds article here as well!

If you have question on the local real estate market feel free to call Johnson Team Real Estate today at (360) 303-2734 or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com, we’d be happy to help!

Our Real Estate Market is ACTIVE!

Bellingham Home ValuesWhatcom County home sales through September have finally beaten the numbers from the boom years of 2006 & 2007, but recently the distribution of those sales has changed.  From 2006 through 2014, 44% to 47% of the home sales were in Bellingham.  In the past 2 years, Bellingham’s share of the sales has dropped to 38% in 2015 and 37% in 2016.


Bellingham sales still haven’t matched the boom years of 2006 and 2007, but Whatcom County sales as a whole are up 9.4% from the prior high.  So where have the Bellingham buyers gone?  It looks as though the Ferndale area has been the primary recipient, with the rest spreading throughout the county.


Ferndale has shown the greatest increase in market share (from 12% to 16%).  Lynden has been steady, with market share as high as 12% in 2012, but never falling below a steady 8% of market.  Sudden Valley has consistently held 6% to 7% of the total market, and Birch Bay/Blaine has stayed primarily in the 12% range, with bounces as high as 14%.  The Mt Baker area has also maintained market share at 6%, with a bounce or two up to 9%.


The big question, of course, is why fewer buyers are now likely to buy in Bellingham, and the likely answers are price point and inventory.  While prices have increased throughout the county, the median sale price for a house in Bellingham in September was $365,000 and the average was $420,695.  The next highest areas were Ferndale, at a median of $309,500 and an average of $321,605 and Lynden at $302,000 for the median and $334,872 on average.


As October begins, this is what the market looks like across Whatcom County:


The market is very active, and half of the homes that sell in Whatcom County are on the market just 21 days before they are under contract…in Bellingham, it’s only 13.

For more information on the Bellingham and Whatcom County Real Estate Markets contact Johnson Team Real Estate today at 1-888-713-3056 today or email us at Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com, we’d be happy to help!

You can search for the newest listings to hit the market on our website today or sign up to receive listings as they hit the market via email by clicking here or below!

New Bellingham Real Estate Listings

Real Estate Thoughts July 2016

Sold HomeWe definitely have an inventory problem throughout the county; the number of single family homes for sale in each of Whatcom County’s 5 primary areas is down.  See attached Single Family Home Inventory for numbers.

As a result of the low inventory, prices have been rising and have increased an average of 7.2% in the county as a whole over the first half of 2016.  At the same time, the number of days a home is listed for sale before an offer is in place is down by 22.7%.

While Bellingham is still the largest market in the county, it has dropped 1% since last year and 6% since the boom year of 2006 in terms of number of sales.  This makes sense if we look at the average sales prices for the various Whatcom County areas:  Bellingham is by far the most expensive, and people in the center of the market ($300,000 to $500,000) are more often buying outside Bellingham.

Speaking of the prior high point of the market (2006), note that in Bellingham there were 586 sales with an average sale price of $361,922.  The first half of this year, there were only 531 sales (the most since 2006), but the average sale price was up 14% ovInventoryer 2006.  In some areas, however, the average sale price is still lower than 2006 ( Sudden Valley, Birch Bay/Blaine & Nooksack Valley).

The price distribution of home sales has shifted dramatically compared to the 1st half of 2015.  The number of homes sold under $300,000 has dropped by 38.9%, while the $300,000 to $500,000 range has increased by 24.6% and the $500,000 to $750,000 range is up 85.4%.  This, of course, is because of the rising prices.  Note, however, that while homes over $750,000 are holding their own, we aren’t seeing the number of sales or the pricing increase.

For details and tables of numbers on all the Whatcom County market areas, go to www.JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com. Also, feel free to call us at (360) 303-2734 or e-mail Info@JohnsonTeamRealEstate.com if you want to know more about a specific portion of the market – we track a lot more than we have space to report.