Home sales in Whatcom County fell nearly 30% in October compared to the same month last year, amid rising mortgage rates, according to a new report from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.
The report shows 263 condo and home sales closed last month across the county, compared to 367 in October 2021.
Sales are down about 20% from September 2022, when 331 condos and homes were sold, according to the report.
Median home sales in Whatcom County last month also fell slightly, about 2%, from $549,000 in October 2021 to $540,000 in October 2022, according to the report.
The median home price has changed little since September 2022, dropping from $545,000 to $540,000 in October 2022.
Much of the change in sales is likely a result of buyers waiting to see if interest rates and home prices drop significantly, said Jeff Pasto, director of Northwest Multiple Listing Services.
“There is no question that the market has changed, largely due to rising interest rates,” Just said in a news release accompanying the data.
Gary Oleyer, owner and CFO of Seattle Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Signature Properties, said in a release:
Currently, buyers and sellers in the market may consider options such as buy-downs, variable rate loans, second trust deed carryovers and provision for closing costs, O’Leyar said.
Buyers needing a home today may need to budget for higher monthly payments until they can refinance to a lower interest rate. .
Still, many buyers may have to wait until mortgage rates stabilize before buying, according to Windermere Real Estate chief economist Matthew Gardner.
Overall home prices are unlikely to drop significantly right now, Gardner said in a release, adding: “People looking to get a home on the cheap are likely to wait a long time.”