Whatcom County real estate agents experienced a late-season uptick in activity, suggesting a busy finish to 2013.
Last month 280 single family homes and condominiums were sold, an 8.1 percent increase compared to September and up 15.7 percent from a year ago. October was the second highest local monthly total in 2013, just behind the July total of 282 sales, according to data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
The median price for the residential units was $249,000 last month, down 3.4 percent compared to a year ago and down 7.4 percent from September. That suggests an increase in the number of first-time, lower-priced residential sales, said Darin Stenvers, branch manager at the Bellingham John L. Scott office.
He noted an increase in inexpensive condo units: Last month the median price for condos sold was $157,600.
"Overall we're having some robust sales for this time of year, with a big increase in the number of people at open houses as well as quick sales," Stenvers said, adding that with a recent drop in interest rates, it could be a strong final few weeks of 2013.
Many of the other 21 Washington counties the NWMLS serves experienced a similar sales trend. According to the data, 6,752 residential units sold in those counties last month, a 12.5 percent increase compared to a year ago. The median price for those sales was $271,000, up 7.7 percent from a year ago.
In Skagit County 150 residential units sold in October, up 25 percent compared to a year ago. The median price of those sales was $232,710, up 9.5 percent.
King County continues to experience a hot real estate market. Real estate agents in that county sold 2,798 units in October, up 13.1 percent from a year ago. The median price for those units was $380,000, up 11 percent from a year ago.