Rates, inventory going up – the spring housing market could be interesting

Dave Gallagher | Bellingham Herald 

The beginning of 2018 started quietly for Whatcom home sales, but it could be leading to a busy spring season. Local real estate agents sold 217 houses and condominiums last month, slightly off the pace of 224 sold in January 2017, according to data from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

…Inventory is expected to increase and interest rates are expected to rise which will make things interesting this spring, said Darin Stenvers, branch manager at the Bellingham John L. Scott office. The 30-year mortgage rate has steadily risen in recent weeks to around 4.5 percent, the highest level in four years.

… Stenvers said if interest rates keep rising it will have an impact, but it hasn’t happened yet. At his office, more than half of the recent local home sales have been all-cash transactions from buyers who are not concerned about a mortgage interest rate.

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