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It may be getting easier to buy a home in Whatcom County

City of Bellingham looking east. The green field in the middle is Battersby Field in front of Whatcom Middle School. According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, Whatcom County had 2.29 months of available house and condo inventory in October.
City of Bellingham looking east. The green field in the middle is Battersby Field in front of Whatcom Middle School. According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, Whatcom County had 2.29 months of available house and condo inventory in October. pdwyer@bhamherald.com

It appears those interested in buying a home in Whatcom County are finally gaining some leverage in what has been a long sellers’ market.

Last month local real estate agents sold 342 houses and condominiums, 52 more than in October 2016, according to new data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service. It’s also higher than the September total.

Worth noting is the increase in inventory – according to the NWMLS, Whatcom County had 313 new listings last month, a 16 percent increase compared to a year earlier. The area now has slightly more active listings than a year ago, something that wasn’t happening in the spring or summer months.

The trend has continued into early November, said Darin Stenvers, manager of the John L. Scott Bellingham office. In the past week he’s noticed an uptick in new listings, price reductions and contracts being changed.

“Buyers are more in control than three months ago,” Stenvers said, noting that the trend is moving toward a more balanced market. Sellers will still get a good value, he said, but they just have to be more in line with the market when it comes to listing a price.

According to the NWMLS, Whatcom County had 2.29 months of available house and condo inventory in October. Stenvers said that is already rising, with his data indicating it’s around 4 months inventory for houses. A balanced market between buyers and sellers generally has about six months of inventory.

Inventory remains very tight across the 23 counties in Washington state the NWMLS compiles data for. Overall it is 1.52 months, while King County is at 0.98.

Dave Gallagher: 360-715-2269, @BhamHeraldBiz

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