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Bellingham Housing Market


Many people wonder why housing is so expensive in Bellingham. Let's try to answer this question. There are three significant reasons why housing in Bellingham has grown less affordable in recent years and why prices have risen even faster than in other areas.

There is a disparity between average earnings and housing costs.

The inventory available to middle-income families is dwindling. Although the demand is growing, salaries have not kept up with rising housing expenses. The typical household income in Bellingham has recently grown by 15%, but the median home value has increased by 67% (adjusted for inflation). The private market continues to service the requirements of higher-income households. Still, while some purchasers are ready to spend more, there are fewer and fewer units available within a price range that is accessible to a median-income family.

It is a lovely region to live in.

Bellingham people are highly enthusiastic about their city's quality of life.

In a recent Bellingham Residential Survey, 92 % of respondents evaluated the city's quality of life as excellent or good. The excellent quality of life, which includes natural beauty, public services and facilities, and outstanding schools, will continue to drive house and land prices and attract new residents.

Between population increase and housing development, there existed a lag.

Both regional and local economies influence housing prices. Home prices have risen along the I-5 corridor as the region has attracted high-paying employment and consequent population expansion. Bellingham's growth has been typical – but not unusual. Since 2010, the state's population has increased by 12.2 %, while Bellingham's population has increased by 11.4 %.

During the Great Recession, when new house construction slowed dramatically between 2007 and 2013, this population increase persisted. Housing development lagged behind population expansion, resulting in increased demand and higher costs. This trend has continued to this day.

Bellingham house prices were up 31.3 % year over year in July 2021, with a median price of $589K. Homes in Bellingham sell on average after 6 days on the market, down from 11 days last year. In July of this year, 197 houses were sold, up from 189 the previous year.

Bellingham's mission is to provide a diverse range of housing options for people of all economic levels. We need housing for the extremely low-income population, such as students, people with disabilities, and fixed-income elderly, as well as wage-earners at all levels. At the same time, we want Bellingham to continue to be an attractive location to live.

What is the state of the Bellingham real estate market?

  • Most houses receive several offers, with many conditions removed.
  • The typical house sells for 6% more than the asking price and goes pending in around 5 days.
  • Hot properties may sell for up to 13% over the list price and go pending in as little as four days.

Flooding in Bellingham Homes is a real risk

Around 3 315 homes (11%) are presently endangered in Bellingham, and about 3 533 homes (12%) will be endangered in the next 30 years. Bellingham's flood danger is growing at a slower rate than the national average.

Flooding Likelihood. Image source: https://www.redfin.com/city/1411/WA/Bellingham/housing-market#trends
Flooding Likelihood. Image source: https://www.redfin.com/city/1411/WA/Bellingham/housing-market#trends