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It’s another big jump in home values for Whatcom County

Houses at the north end of Lake Whatcom on Tuesday, March 28, in Bellingham. Home values in Whatcom County have appreciated 36.1 percent since 2012.
Houses at the north end of Lake Whatcom on Tuesday, March 28, in Bellingham. Home values in Whatcom County have appreciated 36.1 percent since 2012. eabell@bhamherald.com

Rapidly rising home values is not just a Bellingham or Seattle trend, it’s pretty much the entire state.

Home values in Whatcom County appreciated by 12.1 percent at the end of June compared to a year earlier, according to a home price index report by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. That one-year jump ranked the Bellingham metro area 11th highest among 254 metro areas.

It’s the second straight quarter where Whatcom County posted double-digit year-over-year home appreciation. The index looks at purchased and refinance mortgages to determine the changes in appreciation

Metro areas from Washington state were well represented on the top 20 list for home appreciation. Mount Vernon had the highest year-over-year appreciation in the nation, coming in at 15.1 percent.

Seattle was second in the nation, at 14 percent. Six Washington metro areas made the top 20 during the second quarter, according to the report. The others on the list were Tacoma (ranked fifth nationally), Bremerton (13th), and Vancouver-Portland (20th).

Washington outpaced all other states in the year-over-year increase list. The overall increase in the state was 12.4 percent, well ahead of the second highest increase of 10.4 percent in Colorado. The average annual increase in the U.S. was 6.6 percent.

For Whatcom County, it continues to be quite a bounce back from the most recent recession. Local homes have appreciated 36.1 percent since 2012, according to the report.

The market hasn’t been as hot as Seattle, which has seen homes appreciate 67.3 percent in the past five years. Mount Vernon’s five-year index increase was 41.6 percent.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz

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