Looks like home prices crept up a bit last month as compared to condo prices sliding a bit. A reversal of what happened in February.
People in Bellingham and Whatcom County are always concered about the rapid pace of growth here. Well the latest population estimates by the state Census Bureau says Whatcom County is just the 22nd fastest growing county in the state in 2006, with a 1.4% increase. The state average is 1.7-percent. a total of 2600 people were added to the counties roles last year, for a total of about 187,000 people.
According to the Bellingham Heraldthe slogan was created in 1995 by Stephen Stimson a Bellingham native and the former owner of Lone Wolf Antiques. Back in 1995, his mother suggested that he paint a “Welcome to Bellingham” sign on the north outside wall of the Lone Wolf building next to Whatcom Museum. He credits inspiration for the phrase to Gary Stephenson, a high school artist friend. He appreciated Stephenson’s low-key approach to art and humor. The slogan has certaqinly taken root, it is in the Wikipedia description of Bellingham and a BBC travel entry on the city.
Here is what this weeks pending sales ratios look like in a graphic form.
A standoff — It’s like this — sellers are still wanting the glory days of the last few years, 15 – 20% price increases per year. Buyers on the otherhand are continually reading about the real estate “bubble bursting” and they think they will just wait it out, untill the prices come down. Hmmm….throw into the equation interest rates are still pretty low. I was just taking with a mortgage broker this morning who told me interest rates are below 6% today. Maybe it is a good time to buy.
What are your thoughts? Anybody want to weigh in on the subject.
According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service the housing market is rebounding.
“Figures for February show system-wide gains in both pending sales (offers made and accepted, but not yet closed) and sales prices compared to a year ago. Results were mixed among the 19 counties in the MLS service area, but together they reported a 4.8 percent increase in year-over-year pending sales for February. “
They say the condominium market shows continued strength, with pending sales rising 13.7 percent from a year ago. This is consistent with Whatcom County, although their statistics are skewed in my opinion by the King County, Seattle area
In many counties, the month’s supply ratio is less than five months (a supply of six months or greater is generally considered to be a buyer’s market).
In King County there is currently a 2.6 month’s supply of single family homes and only about a two month’s supply of condominiums
They are even taking about having multiple offer situations not being uncommon again.
Interesting, I was just involved in one of those and helped my clients get a great deal on a Mt Vernon fixer in foreclosure. Who would have believe it, multiple offers again.
They say low interest rates and job growth are helping to sustain the market throught the Puget Sound.
D.R. Horton’s project to build a 429 house development on 72 acres in north Bellingham may stall over a disagreement with the city on fixing roads. .It is D.R. Horton’s contention that it shouldn’t have to upgrade parts of Aldrich Road and Cordata Parkway because the project won’t impact the roads enough to require upgrades.
Environmental statements from 1995 for the north Cordata area state that a future development would require traffic fixes, and the city’s OK on this project relied on those documents. .
The city is asking D.R. Horton for an environmental checklist supported by a traffic study. If that isn’t submitted within four months, the application becomes invalid, the letter states.
D.R. Horton plans on building mostly west of the future intersection of Cordata Parkway and Kline Road, on both sides of Kline. The Reserve at Cordata, a D.R. Horton their present project under construction east of Cordata Parkway on Tremont Avenue, will include 320 units.
I thought the graphical form of statistics might interest some.
The developers of Fairhaven Highlands will have an environmental impact statement done by an cosultant for the controversial project.Greenbriar Northwest Associates, a partnership of developer David Edelstein and Horizon Bank, wants to build a 739-unit residential development off Chuckanut Drive in the South neighborhood. The development would include a mix of houses, townhouses, duplexes and condominium buildings on 85 acres.
The forested land on the north end of the Chuckanut Mountains has been a point of contention for years. Environmental groups & neighbors want it preserved.
The city will select a consultant who would create the statement by compiling scientific studies, garnering feedback and responding to public comments.
“If it’s done in a very professional and neutral manner, we’re delighted,” said Joe Yaver, president of Responsible Development, one of the opposing groups. “We think an EIS will demonstrate how valuable this property is and how difficult it is to build a project here without impacting it adversely.”
Greenbriar is propsing some changes to its earlier proposal, larger buffers between houses and streets and wetlands, which they hope will please people who are genuinely concerned about environmental effects.
If you would like some more info see today’s Bellingham Herald
The Bellingham-Whatcom Chamber of Commerce and the Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism Bureau have both joined in support of the Northwest Discovery Project’s proposed Terr Aquarium, and have voted to encourage government funding.
Proponent Bob Goodwin has made presentations locally and in Olympia.
The Terr Aquarium, which is modeled after the Monterey Bay Aquarium, would serve the local community as a tourist attraction, drawing visitors from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C. and beyond. The world’s largest collection of giant Pacific octopuses, and river and sea otters,would be among the attractions. A virtual orca tour would give visitors the sensation of swimming inside the pod.
Six years from vision to reality, is the expected time frame; the next two years will be used to complete a marketing analysis, concept and funding plans. Northwest Discovery Project is seeking state funding to help with some of those immediate planning costs.
The Northwest Discovery Project operates the Squalicum Harbor Marine Life Center, which has more than 70,000 visitors a year.