January sales figures set record for that month

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The January sales figures for the Bend, Oregon, real estate market make two things evident: The winter is no longer a “slow” time of year, and the market is divided into two portions – what might be loosely called “affordable” homes on one side and those that are at the boutique end of the market on the other.

The median sales price of homes sold in January 2018 was $407,450. That is 9.8 percent higher than the median price in January 2017. Out of the 133 months for which the Skjersaa Group has data, January’s figure ranks as the sixth-highest – higher than in any month before June 2017.

Granted, this winter doesn’t appear to be as crippling last year’s, when activity of all kinds in Bend was affected by the weather. And the year-over-year increase in median sales price we saw last January (16.8 percent) was in fact significantly higher than what we saw in January 2018. Still, any thought that the once untouchable $400,000 figure was some sort of barrier for the real estate market seems to have been debunked.

Other data points also indicate that January’s sales might have reset expectations for the winter market in Bend. There were 143 homes sold in January, the second-highest figure in a January for the 11 years we have data. The average days on market was 146, the second-lowest for a January in our data set. The average sales price to list price was a robust 99 percent. And January ended with 207 pending sales – 12 percent more than in any other January in our data set.

Two markets within one city

The figures we’ve cited above encompass all homes, in all price ranges, in the Bend, Oregon, real estate market. Such a blanket, overarching view doesn’t take into account some of the finer details.

For instance, the inventory of homes tells two stories. Overall, January’s sales figures show an inventory of 5.1 months. But for every price tier below $625,000, the inventory of homes in Bend was three months or less. The high-end homes contributed to that overall 5.1-month inventory figure, which is the largest inventory since January 2014.

The inventory of homes represents the time it would take to sell all of the homes on the market given the current pace of sales. Six months is generally regarded as the frontier between a buyer’s market and a seller’s market. At the end of 2016, the average of each month’s inventory that year was 2.6 months. In 2017, the average of each month’s inventory was 3.7 months.

So, although January 2018’s inventory was relatively high (but again, still within the range of a seller’s market), the quantity of homes priced at more than $625,000 skewed that number.

In looking at inventory, there were almost as many homes for sale at the end of January at $925,000 or more (56) as there were homes priced from $525,000 to $725,000 (57).

Yes, inventory is a worthwhile data point to consider, but a second-level look at these numbers tells a different story than a first glance.

Whatever your stage in the real estate process – whether you’re considering selling or if you’re looking to buy – I can be of assistance. My experience and familiarity with the Bend market can pay off for you with an optimal transaction. Please contact me at (541) 383-1426 or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

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