Home sales drop in Blaine/Birch Bay, rise in county

Home sales are down in Blaine and Birch Bay but up overall countywide for the third quarter of the fiscal year, according to a new study.

In a recent study conducted by Whatcom County realtors Muljat Group, 84 units were sold in the Blaine and Birch Bay area in the third quarter, down 7.7 percent from the 91 units sold in 2013. Countywide, 766 units were sold, up 5.1 percent from the same period in 2013. However, those numbers began to Homes-1show signs of slowing in September, which experts say is consistent with national trends.

“These are indicators that our market will remain stable at best, and could slide a bit,” said Lylene Johnson of the Muljat Group.

Home sales declined in Bellingham, Ferndale and Lynden throughout the month of September, but the countywide average was actually bolstered by a sharp increase in sales for the month in Blaine, Birch Bay, Sudden Valley and the Mount Baker foothills.

Birch Bay/Blaine was one of only two areas to post a decline in sales compared to the previous year. The Sudden Valley area of Bellingham saw sales drop 28 percent, with only 36 homes sold in 2014 compared to 50 sold in 2013.

Despite the drop in sales for the quarter, home values in the area are on the rise. The average price of the homes sold in Blaine and Birch Bay this quarter was $303,326, up 16 percent from the previous year. Median home prices are also up 17.3 percent, to $258,000. This puts Birch Bay and Blaine just below the countywide median home price of $277,000.

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