Whatcom real estate sales steady in November


Whatcom County home sales are continuing at a steady pace heading into the winter season.

Local real estate agents sold 199 houses and condominiums in November, up 3.7 percent compared to a year earlier, according to new data from Northwest Multiple Listing Service. The median price for those homes sold was $260,000, up 8.8 percent.

This area followed a trend similar to what took place in the 21 Washington counties the listing service covers. Last month, 5,616 houses and condos sold in those 21 counties, up 5.3 percent from a year ago. The median price for those sales was $271,062, up 4.9 percent.

The recovery in the market has meant fewer foreclosure and short sales locally because more homeowners are seeing sales above what they currently owe, said Darin Stenvers, a broker at the Bellingham John L. Scott office.

"Rising home values have helped sellers who wish to avoid the long, drawn-out and painful short-sale process," he said in a news release accompanying the data.

December and January are typically the slowest months for real estate sales, increasing again in the spring. Stenvers expects 2014 will be another year of stabilization and recovery for home and condo sales.

Skagit County real estate agents had a relatively busy November, selling 138 homes and condos. That's up 20 percent compared to a year earlier. The median price of those Skagit sales was $247,750, up 15.3 percent compared to November 2012.

Reach DAVE GALLAGHER at dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com or call 715-2269.

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