Market UpdatesMonday with MatthewUncategorized March 4, 2024

Housing & Economic Forecast 2024

When real estate bleeds into my Real Life is when it gets really interesting. I provided this exact same recap to those of you who attended the event this month and those who had expressed interest but could not attend. So some of you have already seen this. Read it again though, I am sure you will notice something new!

Hosting Matthew is always a pleasure and he lived up to expectations… the evening truly was chock full of HYPER-LOCAL statistics! We learned a lot, and we had fun. Thank you so much to Matthew Gardner for your time, Evergreen Home Loans for your sponsorship, and to my guests who were able to join me. In case you missed it, below are my hyper-local takeaways!

Listing Activity
The number of listings in 2023 fell again after they tried to increase in 2022 and Matthew is not anticipating the inventory to gain much this year either. This means our supply will remain low, and if interest rates are lower, we will end up back in a market with multiple offers. (We are already seeing this happen with some of our offers!)

Listings were down, but so were sales. in 2023 sales were down 23% from the year before which was already 36% down from 2021!


Interest Rates
“Interest Rates” still seems to feel like a dirty word. We did see some relief in December but they remain slightly above 7% right now. Matthew anticipates no further rate hikes throughout the year. However, the burning question remains: when will the Fed start cutting rates? According to Matthew, we can expect this process to commence around mid-2024. By the year’s end, he envisions rates to be in the low 6% range, with further declines into the 5’s in 2025.


Population Up…still
Covid made homeowners really evaluate where they wanted to live and as such we saw a lot of migration happening. It has not stopped… people still want to live in Whatcom County and we continue to see our population grow here. Currently, we have 58,686 households in the county. The issue is we are not building enough new homes to accommodate the new households. See below how much our new construction single-family home permits were down.


Sale Prices PICK BACK UP

From their 2022 peaks, average sale prices are down 5.3% & median prices are 0.9% lower. That said, year-over-year, average prices are up 9.5% & median sale prices were 18.2% higher.

Also interesting is that the number of CASH purchases are nearly 40% of purchases in Whatcom County. We certainly saw this in our business last year, there are MANY people moving here from other places having sold a home with so much equity that they are paying cash here.


“Rate Locked”
Did you know that a whopping 84.3% of homeowners in Whatcom County currently have mortgage rates below 5%? Many of these homeowners, dubbed “Rate Locked,” are holding off on selling their homes until rates decline further.


Pricing Prediction for 2024
Last year Mathew predicted a .7% DECREASE in prices and we ended up as an average down only .4%. Don’t forget this is an AVERAGE. When we’ve been working on your Annual Real Estate Reviews for January and February so far this year, there are very few of my clients that I believe their values did go down last year. Most are flat or UP! For 2024, see below- Matthew is expecting prices to go up almost 8% this year for single-family homes.
All in all, Matthew summarized the event by saying the market will remain “abnormal” until 2025. The homes that are well prepared and well presented on the market will continue to perform well- we like to call those “Cream Puffs”!
We hope you find these insights valuable and informative as you navigate the real estate landscape in Whatcom County. Let us know if you would like to dive deeper into any of these topics, or have any questions.

For those of you with housing goals this year, we hope this brings you some insight into what to expect. If you’ve been on the fence if this would be a good year for you to make a move (buy or sell), give us a call, and let’s schedule a consultation. We would love to help.