Paul Balzotti, Broker/Owner of John L Scott Real Estate, Bellingham Reports:
The Shelter in Place order has definitely slowed down what was a very hot Real Estate market in Bellingham and Whatcom County, but there are still those that need to buy and sell. The original mandate prohibited almost all Real Estate activity, but was revised by Governor Inslee on 3/27 to allow for the following:
-1 person at a-time-home showings
-Moving companies with social distancing in place
What is currently not considered an essential service, is hiring a professional photographer for a listing and doing open houses. Those photos/virtual home tours may be done by the broker or home seller, only.
The numbers for the first half of March for single family home sales in Bellingham include 234 new listings, 134 pending sales, and 125 closings. So far closings are only down about 2% year over year. But April will be more interesting to track. We are expecting home values to remain flat in the short term, but sales to be down at least 25-50% in April as so many are delaying moving plans unless it's absolutely necessary. We are going to continue to track this day by day.