2018 Market Review

2018 Whatcom County Market Review Print

Posted on February 5, 2019 at 6:10 pm
Loren VanCorbach | Posted in Uncategorized |

Why is there no inventory?

I hear it often…Why are there no homes for sale in Whatcom County?

  1. Many sellers are afraid to list their homes out of fear of selling quickly with no place to move to.
  2. Baby boomers are not retiring. Staying in their homes longer means less supply.
  3. Remodeling is on the increase as an option to selling (less supply)
  4. Lack of construction. Why? Not enough skilled workers (many people in the trade got out of the business in 2006 and not nearly as many graduates are enrolling into vocational schools), increased price of materials and labor, not enough land to build on and lot prices have really increased.
  5. We are living in our homes longer (less supply)
  6. Rental rates have gone up so many renters are entering the market (more demand)
  7. Boomerang buyers (homeowners who went through short sales and foreclosures in 2006-2008 are now back in the market. (more demand)
  8. Interest rates are increasing creating a fear so buyers are trying to hurry into the market (more demand).

Posted on September 11, 2018 at 5:10 pm
Loren VanCorbach | Posted in Uncategorized |

Today’s interest rates


Primary Mortgage Rates Survey
(updated every Thursday)  Source:  Freddie Mac



 December 14, 2017  30-yr FRM  15-Yr FRM  5/1-Yr ARM
 Average Rates  3.93%  3.36%  3.36%
 Fees & Points  0.5  0.5  0.3
 Margin  N/A  N/A  2.75

Posted on December 20, 2017 at 6:08 pm
Loren VanCorbach | Posted in Uncategorized |

What can we expect in 2018?

….by Matthew Gardner (Windermere’s chief economist)


It’s the time of the year when I look deep into my crystal ball to see what’s on the horizon for the upcoming year. As we are all aware, 2017 has been a stellar year for housing across the country, but can we expect that to continue in 2018?

Here are my thoughts:


Millennial Home Buyers

Last year, I predicted that the big story for 2017 would be millennial home buyers and it appears I was a little too bullish. To date, first-time buyers have made up 34% of all home purchases this year – still below the 40% that is expected in a normalized market.  Although they are buying, it is not across all regions of the country, but rather in less expensive markets such as North Dakota, Ohio, and Maryland.

For the coming year, I believe the number of millennial buyers will expand further and be one of the biggest influencers in the U.S. housing market. I also believe that they will begin buying in more expensive markets. That’s because millennials are getting older and further into their careers, enabling them to save more money and raise their credit profiles.


Existing Home Sales

As far as existing home sales are concerned, in 2018 we should expect a reasonable increase of 3.7% – or 5.62 million housing units. In many areas, demand will continue to exceed supply, but a slight increase in inventory will help take some heat off the market. Because of this, home prices are likely to rise but by a more modest 4.4%.


New Home Sales

New home sales in 2018 should rise by around 8% to 655,000 units, with prices increasing by 4.1%. While housing starts – and therefore sales – will rise next year, they will still remain well below the long-term average due to escalating land, labor, materials, and regulatory costs. I do hold out hope that home builders will be able to help meet the high demand we’re expecting from first-time buyers, but in many markets it’s very difficult for them to do so due to rising construction costs.


Interest Rates

Interest rates continue to baffle forecasters. The anticipated rise that many of us have been predicting for several years has yet to materialize. As it stands right now, my forecast for 2018 is for interest rates to rise modestly to an average of 4.4% for a conventional 30-year fixed-rate mortgage – still remarkably low when compared to historic averages.


Tax Reform

Something that has the potential to have a major impact on housing are the current proposals relative to tax reform. As I write this, we know that both the House and Senate propose doubling the standard deduction, and the House plans to lower the mortgage interest deduction from $1,000,000 to $500,000. If passed, the mortgage deduction would no longer have value for home owners who would likely opt to take the standard deduction.

If either of the current proposals is adopted into law, the potential reduction in mortgage-related tax savings means the after-tax cost of home ownership will increase for most home owners. Additionally, both the House and Senate bills also end tax benefits for interest on second homes, and this could have a devastating effect in areas with higher concentrations of second homes.

The capping of the deduction for state and local property taxes (SALT) at $10,000 will also negatively impact states with high property taxes, such as California, Connecticut, and New York. Furthermore, proposed changes to the capital gains exemption on profits from the sale of a home (requiring five years of continuous residence as compared to the current two) could impact approximately 750,000 home sellers a year and slow the growth of home ownership.

Something else to consider is that all of the aforementioned changes will only affect new home purchases, which I fear might become a deterrent for current home owners to sell. Given the severe shortage of homes for sale in a number of markets across the country, this could serve to exacerbate an already-persistent problem.


Housing Bubble

I continue to be concerned about housing affordability. Home prices have been rising across much of the country at unsustainable rates, and although I still contend that we are not in “bubble” territory, it does represent a substantial impediment to the long-term health of the housing market. But if home price growth begins to taper, as I predict it will in 2018, that should provide some relief in many markets where there are concerns about a housing bubble.

In summary, along with slowing home price growth, there should be a modest improvement in the number of homes for sale in 2018, and the total home sales will be higher than 2017. First-time buyers will continue to play a substantial role in the nation’s housing market, but their influence may be limited depending on where the government lands on tax reform

Posted on December 15, 2017 at 8:45 pm
Loren VanCorbach | Posted in Uncategorized |

Bellingham Rental Regulations

  • The Bellingham City Council will meet Monday to consider city staffs’ proposal for additional rental regulations.  The new regulations have the following provisions:1)  Landlords are no longer able to consider sources of legal income – including Social Security, public assistant, retirement funds, etc.  Landlords will also not be able to state in advertisements phrases such as “Section 8 not accepted” or any other language that might dissuade a tenant from making an application; and
    2)  Landlords will be required to provide 60-day’s notice to tenants being asked to vacate for any reason except for cause (waste, non-payment of rent, etc,) -OR- if rent is increased more than 10% over the lowest rent charged in the preceding 12 months.
    Additional provisions prohibit landlords from attempting to waive these provisions (unless the tenant has legal counsel), provides for costs and attorney fees to prevailing parties, and provides an affirmative defense to tenants in the case of failure to receive 60-day’s notice.

Posted on November 3, 2017 at 4:56 pm
Loren VanCorbach | Posted in Uncategorized |

Interest Rates will likely go up this week


Posted on March 14, 2017 at 5:39 pm
Loren VanCorbach | Posted in Uncategorized |

Hacked By GeNErAL

Hacked By GeNErAL

Posted on December 6, 2016 at 5:13 pm
Loren VanCorbach | Posted in Uncategorized |

Hacked By Unknown

Hacked By Not Matter who am i ~ i am white Hat Hacker please update your wordpress

Posted on June 17, 2016 at 9:05 pm
Loren VanCorbach | Posted in Uncategorized |

To list or not to list now?

Wait until spring to list or list now? Watch this short video to see 10 ways why you  might want to list now.

Posted on December 14, 2015 at 7:36 pm
Loren VanCorbach | Posted in Uncategorized |

Today’s interest rates

Today's Interest Rates
December 10, 2015



Loan Category



30 Year Fixed



15 Year Fixed



30 Year Jumbo



15 Year Jumbo



30 Year FHA



30 Year VA



7 Year ARM



5 Year ARM




*Rates above assume following criteria: Purchase transaction, 75% LTV, 760+ credit score, and 1% borrower-paid discount fee.

Posted on December 10, 2015 at 9:39 pm
Loren VanCorbach | Posted in Uncategorized |