The Bellingham, WA, real estate market in 2024 is likely to slowly relax from a tight inventory and sellers market to a more favorable option for would-be homebuyers.
Many records for home appreciation and sales prices were broken all across the Pacific Northwest over recent years. This was especially true in Whatcom County, and Bellingham real estate prices climbed swiftly to outstrip median prices across the region. Those seeking to buy a home in Bellingham should be watchful for new options coming on the market.
Bellingham Real Estate Market in 2024: Home Prices
The Bellingham median home price in 2024 is more than $614,483, quite a bit higher than the overall Whatcom County median home price of nearly $568,679. Overall, the Bellingham average home price went up 1.1% year over year, while Whatcom County home price increases trailed only a little, rising 1%.
Whatcom County home sales were down by 13.5%, but a tight inventory (only a month as of January 1, 2024) meant Bellingham sales were down 18.6%. The lack of new supply was due in part to a significant reduction in new builds over the past few years, thanks to lack of labor and supply chain issues for staples such as lumber.
The Pandemic Effect on the Bellingham Real Estate Market
The pandemic definitely played a part in the high demand and tight supply across the Pacific Northwest, as people suddenly free to live where they pleased and work remotely flocked to the PNW in ever increasing numbers. Much of the influx arrived from Seattle and California, but there was also an increase in people relocating from other cities across the U.S.
Many of these newcomers sought larger houses to accommodate one or more home offices, stretching the available real estate market even further and leading to massive bidding wars. Low interest rates didn’t hurt as homebuyers strove to get into real estate while rates were rock bottom.
What to Expect in the Bellingham Real Estate Market in 2024
Fannie Mae has raised conforming loan limits in Whatcom County to a hefty $766,550 for conventional loans, more than enough to cover the median home price and then some. This makes it easier for would be homebuyers to get financing. Home appreciation is still on the rise, defying predictions that spring would see a slowdown as interest rates rose.
Home sales may drop slightly, but that is off of record highs. Inventory shows no signs of increasing as of yet, so it’s still a healthy seller’s market. Expect multiple offers on each house across almost every price point from smaller, less expensive homes on the outskirts of the city to luxury homes in prime neighborhoods.
Is a More Balanced Market on the Horizon?
Slowly, inventory will increase, opening the door to a more relaxed market. Homebuyers who have been looking for housing in Bellingham are encouraged not to give up hope at this juncture.
New construction is slowly starting to gain ground in the east and north county, allowing buyers to have more choice. Forbearances are coming to an end, and homeowners in trouble may be stimulated to sell as they face mounting costs.
Meanwhile, the Mortgage Banker’s Association (MBA) forecasted that mortgage interest rates may slowly dip throughout 2024. This changes the game when it comes to affordability, and will encourage more prospective buyers to get into the market and incentive homeowners to sell.
Overall, the real estate market isn’t going to completely settle any time soon. Rental rates are at historic highs, and real estate is still the best hedge against inflation, meaning even with high interest rates investors are keen to get into Bellingham real estate in 2024.
If you’re getting ready to buy a home in Bellingham, WA, using the right lender is critical. Sammamish Mortgage provides an easy online loan application process and mortgage preapproval to help you swiftly obtain the necessary financing for your home. We also offer the Diamond Homebuyer Program as a free supplemental service to help our borrowers get their home offers accepted.
Why Choose Sammamish Mortgage?
At Sammamish, we believe educating homeowners is the best path forward to financial success. That’s why we put so much effort into our blog articles, to help create a resource for homeowners and homebuyers.
Sammamish Mortgage has been in business since 1992, and has assisted many home buyers in the Pacific Northwest. If you are looking for mortgage financing in Washington State, we can help. Sammamish Mortgage offers mortgage programs in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.
Contact us if you have any mortgage-related questions or concerns. If you are ready to move forward, you can view rates, obtain a customized instant rate quote, or apply instantly directly from our website.