We don't need to be reminded about bad markets. We all lived them only too recently. High inventory, few buyers, dysfunctional lending, dropping prices etc. Now many of us are seeing the other side. Today in Whatcom County folks will say to us, "Wow what a great market! I hear prices are up and homes sell in day with multiple offers and even over listing price!"
A Seller's market is out of balance as well. Buyers can't find the home they want. They may lose to multiple offers. The confidence level is low and frustration is high when inventory is non-existent. Sellers are Buyers too! The fear that they cannot find a replacement home or the next step in their home goals is high. "We don't want to list our property and be homeless. We want to find a new property first."
Ironically, in our County, a resurgence of "contingent offers" is occurring for the "reverse" reason. "If you will sell us your house, we will list ours... and sell it in a day!"
The wild card in all this is new construction. After years of little new construction we need much more to meet the demand. Our County is growing much faster than homes are being built.
Average home price for new homes and average price per foot have increased dramatically since 2011 and lenders have product now! The raw numbers are sales 140 units in 2011 at an average selling price of $259,000 and at $152.00 per foot. In 2016 new homes sales were 224 units (up 60%) at an average selling price of $340,600 (up 33%) and at $184.00 per foot (up 21%). Oh and compare days on market 85 now verses 166 in 2011(improved 50%).
Whatcom County is growing steadily, new construction is a key component to helping an otherwise out-of-balance market.