Awards & Installations

WCAR brochure
The Whatcom County Assocation of Realtors®, held its 110th Awards and Installations on, January 12, 2018, and it was a sold out event! All proceeds from raffle ticket sales were donated to, Lydia Place in Bellingham. There are many outstanding individuals in the real estate industry and it was a night of special recognition and honorable mention. Our office was honored that our managing broker and owner, Jerry Blankers, was nominated for a community service award. Jerry, has given 40+ years of service to our wonderful community. Special congratulations to, Troy Muljat, managing broker and owner of the Bellingham office. Troy, was the recipient of the Realtor® Life-Time Achievement Award. Congratulations, Troy, what an honor! Congratulations to all the nominees and award winners! Here are some video excerpts from the evening:

2018 Real Estate Predictions

2018 housing
Below are predictions for the 2018 real estate market, based on data that was available at the time this was written:

Interest Rates – With the Tax Reform Bill and new infrastructure, we expect interest rates to rise. A climb to 4.0%-4.5% is probable but it is possible that if the economy grows at a good clip next year, we could see rates as high as 5%. We believe the average for the year will be about 4.6%. Although this rise will cause some buyers to regroup, it will not be enough to make a strong market shift and cause buyers to leave the market in droves.

Home Price Growth – With double-digit percentage price increases in many markets across the country in 2017, we believe we will move back to price inclines below 10% in those busy markets. In fact, it is foreseeable that the average for those areas that did see such strong increases in 2017 will scale back to about 4-7% gains in 2018. Nationally, prices are expected to increase about 3.2%. Between November 2016 and November 2017, in Whatcom County the median sales price grew by 9.8%; in our Lynden market, it grew 16.5%.

New Construction – Our country needs about 1.5 million new starts per year to maintain inventory, but since 2009 we have been short a cumulative almost 6 million units. This is one of the primary causes of our inventory shortage and what is driving prices up – demand outweighs supply. Local issues in many areas such as zoning and water rights are also capping new construction opportunity. In addition, the cost of building supplies is causing problems for our builders and we expect this problem to worsen in 2018.
Housing Inventory – Although there are improvements in this category because we are adding some new housing units, it may take years or more for inventory levels to get back to a balanced level. Additionally, it is predicted that more buyers will be entering the market for a home as our economy is strong with low unemployment, which we suspect will get even lower due to our economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate stands at 4.1% for November 2017, which is the lowest it has been since December of 2000. it is predicted unemployment to be in the high 3% range by the end of 2018.

Market Stability – we are often asked when the bubble will burst or we will see another crash. We do not foresee this in the upcoming year. Although we are seeing prices rise quickly, the conditions that our national market is facing now are not the same as what we saw just a decade ago. There isn’t the easy access to credit as there was before the last crash when banks were more de-regulated. There aren’t enough new or resale homes to satiate current demand, unlike the building boom of the mid-2000s. Buyers are not overleveraged and, in many cases, have to put more cash down to compete in multiple-offer situations, allowing buyers to start in a higher equity position. Based on our history and the facts that are in front of us, I don’t believe another crash is likely at all.

The Muljat Group North real estate office is excited for what 2018 has in store! For additional information and predictions on our local market, please call our office at 360-354-4242.

America’s Main Street Winner Is Lynden!

Yes, it’s true! The beautiful community of Lynden, Washington, really won America’s Main Street contest.
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After an incredible display of support for Main Streets from coast to coast, Independent We Stand, recognized Downtown Lynden, Washington, as the grand prize winner of the America’s Main Streets contest. More than 280,000 total votes were cast by the public nationwide. Lynden’s Main Street will receive $25,000 in cash and related prizes to help revitalize Main Street. Lynden is definitely on the upstream with many new businesses opening shop, namely: The INN at LYNDEN, OVERFLOW TAPS, Avenue Bread, Village Books, the Mill, Bellingham Baby Company and more! Be sure to visit The Muljat Group North real estate office in downtown, Lynden ~ located on beautiful Front Street, in downtown, Lynden Washington! It’s a terrific time to list your home & buy real estate in Whatcom County.
We have the most helpful Lynden Chamber of Commerce ~ Lynden is a great place to live ~ work ~ play!

Billy Waples Day in Lynden!

Waples

Upcoming chowder feed, beer garden, kids’ games and a day of family-fun activities in celebration of Billy Waples Day! Half a block of Fifth Street will be blocked off for outdoor seating.

The Mercantile building has been revitalized to once again claim it’s rightful place as the heart of Lynden. The historic Waples Mercantile Building was owned and built by Billy Waples, one of the original founding fathers of Lynden. The Mercantile Building was formerly the Lynden Department Store. The Lynden Department Store was the gathering place, and the market place, of the Lynden farming community. The Waples Mercantile Building is the vibrant new home for The Inn at Lynden, one of very few hotels in Washington State that resides in a structure listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. It is also the home for new businesses…Village Books And Paper Dreams, Drizzle, Overflow Taps, Avenue Bread and Bellingham Baby Company.

Come celebrate Billy Waples Day in the heart of downtown, Lynden, on May 1st!

Place: Waples Mercantile Building | 100 5th Street, Lynden
Date: Sunday, May 1st
Time: 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Muljat Group North Realtors®

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HAPPY 4TH OF JULY

In observance of July 4 the office will be closed on Friday, July 3, and Saturday, July 4.
Have a super fun 4th of July from The Muljat Group North Real Estate office!
If you are looking for info on fireworks read on….
Lots of events are happening in Whatcom County. Zuanich Park festivities begin at 10 am. Fireworks at sunset! For nearly two decades, the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce & Industry has partnered with Haggen Northwest Fresh and the Port of Bellingham to provide the community fireworks display.
The festival includes vendor and craft booths, live bands and old-time games for the kids. At 2pm, the beer garden opens!

The City of Blaine is also having their Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration! With all day-long activities that include a pancake breakfast, a parade at noon, an arts and crafts street fair with over 80+ vendors and don’t forget the fireworks display over Semiahmoo Bay in the evening!
Looks like the hot weather will continue on this long weekend ~ please use extra precaution around fireworks. Also, slather on some extra sunscreen for the all day family events.
Happy 4th of July!!
After Hours Contact:
Muljat Group North Realtors®