Real estate sales were up in several Whatcom County communities last month, and it wasn’t just homebuyers trying to take advantage of a federal tax credit deadline.
Bellingham recorded 158 property sales in April, a 10.5 percent increase from March and a 19.7 percent jump from April 2009, according to data collected by First American Title of Bellingham. These property sales include residential, commercial, industrial and undeveloped land. Bellingham has tallied 473 property sales through the first four months of 2010, a 9.2 percent increase compared to the previous year.
While used single family homes were a big part of the April rise in Bellingham –100 sold last month, up from 80 in March and 84 in April 2009 – multi-family, condominiums and platted lots also posted year-over-year increases. The one category lagging behind is sales of new homes: Only two new homes sold in Bellingham last month and 16 for the year. That’s way down from the first four months of 2009 (30 new homes sold) and 2008 (67 new homes sold).
The huge drop in new home sales in Bellingham shows just how much new home construction has grinded to a halt, said Gragg Miller of Coldwell Banker Miller-Arnason.
Ferndale, Lynden and Blaine are posting similar growth numbers in property sales to Bellingham. Those three communities sold 154 properties last month, slightly higher than March but up 51 percent compared to April 2009. For the first four months of the year, the three communities have been able to maintain sales of new homes: 38 have sold in 2010, nearly matching the first four months of 2009, when 39 were sold.
Commercial and industrial property sales have been particularly active. Through April, 41 such properties have sold in Ferndale, Lynden and Blaine, compared to 23 for the same period in 2009. Overall, 529 properties have sold in 2010, up 26.8 percent compared to the first four months in 2009.