The value of a Whatcom County home continues to depreciate at a significant pace, according to a new federal report.
Local home values in the first quarter dropped 4.8 percent year-over-year, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s all-transactions home price index. It’s also down 5.7 percent five years ago, in the first quarter of 2006.
The all-transactions index includes data from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages used for home purchases and refinancings, giving an indication of what’s happening with repeat sales.
Home values are expected to keep dropping through the rest of 2011, as the backlog of foreclosures and a weak job market continue to put pressure on prices, said Glenn Crellin, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at Washington State University.
Getting the job market back on track is a key factor, Crellin said, noting that people won’t make a purchase on a home if they don’t feel confident about their job situation.
Washington’s purchase-only index (not including refinanced loans) was down 9.4 percent year-over-year, ranking it 46th among the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Only Alaska, West Virginia and North Dakota posted year-over-year appreciation in home values.
Nationwide, the purchase-only index was down 2.5 percent compared to the previous quarter, the largest quarterly decline since the fourth quarter of 2008, during the national financial meltdown.
Among metro areas, Bismark, N.D. posted the highest year-over-year appreciation, a 4.3 percent increase. Boise City, Idaho, posted the largest year-over-year decline, dropping 15.2 percent.
HOME PRICE INDEX IN WASHINGTON COMMUNITIES
Changes in the all-transaction House Price Index for Washington metro areas from the fourth quarter of 2010:
Area, Year-over-year change, Five-year change
Bellingham, down 4.8 percent, down 5.7 percent
Bremerton, down 3.7 percent, down 11.4 percent
Kennewick, down 0.02 percent, up 10.5 percent
Longview, down 4.6 percent, down 5.6 percent
Mount Vernon, down 5.7 percent, down 10.1 percent
Olympia, down 6 percent, down 7.1 percent
Seattle, down 6 percent, down 10.8 percent
Spokane, down 6.3 percent, down 0.5 percent
Tacoma, down 7.1 percent, down 14.2 percent
Wenatchee, down 3.8 percent, up 12.9 percent
Yakima, down 1.9 percent, up 8.6 percent
Source: Federal Housing Finance Agency