November’s median sales price falls, not unexpectedly

The pace of home sales and the median price dropped in November compared with the previous month. But the one-month snapshot comparing November’s numbers to October’s doesn’t capture the bigger picture of the Bend, Oregon, real estate market.

November’s median sales price of $390,000 was 3.5 percent lower than October’s median of $404,250. A look back at historical numbers shows that this month-to-month development shouldn’t have been unexpected and isn’t evidence that the housing market is weakening.

This year marks the third time in the last four years that the median sales price fell in November compared with October. The one time the median price did rise, the increase from October to November was 1.2 percent. The drop in the median price we saw in November 2017 appears to be tied to the season.

I would recommend also taking a long-term perspective. We at the Skjersaa Group have sales data dating to the start of 2007. Until we reached 2017, in the years for which we have sales figures, only one month – May 2007 – had a median sales price that exceeded November’s $390,000. In other words, November’s median sales price was red-hot – except when compared with the prime selling season in 2017.

Even examining year-over-year changes, November 2017’s median sales price was 4.3 percent greater than November 2016’s $374,000.

Among the other numbers of note from November is the inventory of homes, which increased from 3.6 months in October to 5.1 months in November.

Inventory refers to the time it would take to sell every house on the market given the current pace of sales. Six months is frequently used as the dividing line between a buyer’s and a seller’s market.

November’s inventory of 5.1 months is the second-highest this calendar year, trailing September’s 5.7 months. This is the first calendar year since 2014 in which two months each had an inventory of at least five months.

Diving into the November’s inventory numbers, though, sharp differences appear based on the price of the homes. For every price range at $825,000 and below, there was less than 3.5 months of inventory – squarely on the side of a seller’s market. Only in the price ranges of $825,100 and above were there inventories of greater than six months.

Playing into the inventory was the quantity of homes on the market in November: 552. That’s the most for a November since 2009. Moreover, November’s 552 active listings represented a 4 percent decline from October. In each of the previous three calendar years, November’s listings were at least 10 percent lower than in the previous month. It appears fewer sellers are letting the calendar dictate when they have their house on the market.

Whatever the time of year, I can help you with your real estate transaction – whether you’re looking to buy a home or considering putting your house on the market. My knowledge of the Bend market and my dedication to serving my clients will help guarantee an outcome you’re happy with. Please contact me at (541) 383-1426, or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

Bend’s median sales price takes step back in October

After four months in a row of record-setting real estate prices in Bend, Oregon, the market took a step back in October. The median sales price of a home in Bend declined last month, but there is strong evidence that the move was a consolidation, not a sign that the demand for homes in this area is declining.

The median sales price in October was $404,250. That’s about 3 percent lower than September’s median of $416,500. A 3 percent month-over-month decline might raise eyebrows, but there are other things to keep in mind regarding that figure.

For one, the median sales price in the month of October was the fifth-highest out of the approximately 130 months for which we have data. Looked at in the vacuum of the summer and fall of 2017, yes, October’s sales figure might appear ominous, but in the longer term, it doesn’t seem striking.

Also, we can look at the year-over-year figures. October 2017’s median sales price was 9.4 percent greater than the October 2016 figure of $369,500.

Prices usually decline after hot Septembers

It’s important to remember, also, the seasonal nature of the real estate market. October 2017 marks the fourth year out of the last five that October’s median price fell from the month prior. And in three of the previous four years, the September median sales figure turned out to be the highest month in that calendar year.

These patterns tell us that a decline from September to October isn’t to be unexpected, especially given that September’s median prices have tended to set the pace for an entire calendar year.

One big difference between October and September is in the inventory of homes. It fell in October from 5.7 months to 3.6 months. Granted, September’s inventory was relatively high, but things clearly tightened up in October.

Breaking down the inventory by price range, we see that every price range at $825,000 or below had an inventory of 3.3 months or less. One can define “affordable housing” in many ways, but October’s figures clearly show that homes in the price ranges that appeal to the largest swath of buyers remain in high demand.

The average days on the market for a home in October is another sign that what we saw is more properly regarded as a consolidation than a correction. The average DOM in October was 106 days. That’s the third-lowest in 2017 and the lowest for any October on record.

Busiest October on record

Given the inventory and relatively brisk sales pace, we shouldn’t be surprised that the number of homes sold in October – 228 – were the highest for any October on record.

Turning to the number of reduced listings as a percentage of active listings (182 reduced out of 575 active, or 31.7 percent), we see a figure lower than in any of the previous four months – those same months when the market set records. This indicates sellers aren’t having an inordinate amount of trouble in commanding their list price – assuming it’s appropriate to begin with.

Whatever your position in the Bend real estate market – buying a home or thinking about selling – I can be of assistance. My experience, knowledge of the local real estate environment and ethical approach to the business will help assure you of an optimal outcome. Please contact me at (541) 383-1426, or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

Median sales price in Bend inches up to another record

The residential real estate market in Bend, Oregon, continued in September to reach new heights for sales prices, but the increases remained modest.

In September, for the fourth month in a row, the median sales price of a home in Bend reached a record high. Although the market still appears to be strongly fueled by committed buyers and to be tilted toward sellers, some data points indicate the market might be leveling off.

September’s median sales price of $416,500 was up $2,500 from August’s median price. That’s a 0.60 percent month-to-month increase.

The first month of this record-setting run came in June, when we saw a 7.9 percent increase from the month prior. The increase in median price since then has been by less than 1 percent each month.

Each of the three months before September, the year-over-year increase in the monthly median sales price was at least 10.5 percent. Comparing September 2017 to the same month the year before, however, the median price was 8.0 percent greater.

Inventory of homes in Bend rises

Turning from sales price to the supply of homes, we see more evidence that the Bend real estate market might be nearing a peak. The inventory of homes for sale in September was 5.7 months – the highest since September 2014.

In previous blog posts, we’ve noted that the overall inventory of homes in Bend is skewed by the supply of homes at the high end of the price spectrum. That remained true in September, but even at more modest price ranges, inventory increased in September.

Homes in the $425,100 to $525,000 range had an inventory of 3. 4 months in September. That is the highest inventory in that price range of Bend real estate since we saw a 4.8-month stock of homes in January 2016.

Only in price ranges more than $725,100 did September’s inventory exceed 3.4 months.

As a reminder, the inventory signifies the length of time it would take to sell all of the homes currently on the market given the current pace of sales. A common dividing line between a seller’s market and a buyer’s market is six months of inventory.

Prices generally high in September

It’s also worth noting that in three of the previous four years, the September median sales figure turned out to be the highest month in that calendar year.  And the average days on the market in September was 114 days – considerably lower than in July (141 days) and August (136) but higher than in September 2016 (104).

As we head deeper into fall and the winter, which is traditionally a slower season for real estate, having an experienced, ethical Realtor on your side can make all the difference in the satisfaction you take from a real estate transaction. My knowledge of the Bend real estate market can work to your benefit, whether you’re in the market for a home or considering selling. To learn more about how I can assist you in your transaction, contact me at (541) 383-1426, or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

Bend homes set third straight monthly record

The median sales price of Bend homes hit another record high in August — barely. It marked the third month in a row the median sales figure established a record.

At $414,000, the median sales price in August was $1,500 (0.4 percent) higher than July’s amount. That’s an even smaller increase than we saw from June to July, when the median sales price rose $3,500 (0.9 percent).

The last three months are the only time during 10-plus years for which the Skjersaa Group has data that the median price has reached $400,000.

Year-over-year prices rise for Bend homes

Year over year, August’s sales figure represents a 15.3 percent increase – the highest year-over-year increase this calendar year except for what occurred in January.

By the standards of Bend real estate, the inventory in August remained high, at 3.7 months (the second month in a row inventory was that high). Looking at the historical data for spring and summer months, August’s inventory was the highest since a 6.2-month figure in September 2014.

The inventory of homes in the price ranges of more than $625,000 again had an outsized influence on the inventory for the Bend market as a whole. Every price range above $625,000 was above the monthly average.

Inventory in price ranges of $625,000 and less, on the other hand, maxed out at 3.2 months. That shows that the competition for homes that aren’t in the boutique price range is keen, with the market favoring the sellers.

Some statistics indicate cooling period might come

But some of the data points indicate a possible slackening in the market. August had 638 Bend homes on the market, the most in a month since October 2014 (when there was also 638).

The average days on the market in August was 136 days. That’s five days less than in July. The last two months experienced the highest number of days on market in the spring and summer months since March and April 2014.

September began with 606 active listings for Bend homes, easily on pace for the most since fall 2014.

Looking at the slower pace of the increase in the median sales price, the relatively high inventory and the number of houses on the market, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to expect the Bend real estate market to cool. The last year there was a decline in the median sales price from August to September was in 2014.

With the median sales price of a Bend home at an all-time high, the need for a dependable, ethical Realtor can’t be overstated. Wherever you are in the real estate cycle — buying a home or thinking of selling — I can help you. My integrity and experience will ensure you of an optimal outcome. To learn more about how I can assist you in your real estate transaction, contact me at (541) 383-1426, or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

Amid another record sales figure, buyers push back

Median sales figure graphThe median sales price of a home in Bend, Oregon, set another record in July, the second month in a row that figure has reached unprecedented levels. But along with the rising median sales price came evidence that the market is highly competitive and buyers are pushing back on overpriced homes.

July’s median sales price was $412,500. That’s $3,500 (0.9 percent) more than June’s median price. June and July are the only two months out of the more than 10 years for which the Skjersaa Group has data that Bend’s median sales price has exceeded $400,000.

Compared with the median sales price of July 2016, this July’s figure rose 13.2 percent. The year-over-year increase in June was 10.5 percent – meaning that July’s sales prices showed a greater annual increase than June’s.

But there are signs that sellers need to get ahead of the game and price their homes competitively.

The average days on the market in July was 141 days, compared with 91 days in June. The 141 days is the highest for any July since 2012, which is the only year since 2010 that a July has had a higher days-on-market figure than this year. Put another way: July 2017’s days on the market are the second-highest for any July in the last eight years.

Looking at it another way, consider that the highest figure for average days on the market in any month in 2016 was 142 days – and that came in February, a typically slow month for home sales.

Inventory of homes matches high for 2017

And the inventory – the number of months it would take to sell all homes currently on the market given the current pace of sales – rose in July to 3.7 months, matching the highest month of this calendar year (January) and last exceeded in February 2016, when there was 4.9 months of inventory.

Our data is broken down by various price ranges, and as is usual with our monthly sales figures, not every price range tells the same story.

The inventory of homes priced at $625,000 and less is at most three months. Homes priced at more than $625,000 are driving a big part of the overall inventory figure.

Sellers reduce prices on sizable fraction of homes

Accompanying the record for median sales price figures these last two months is another noteworthy — and perhaps counterintuitive — statistic: the percentage of homes on the market with price reductions.

That number was 43 percent in June and 40 percent in July. We have to go back to February 2009 — before the housing market rebounded — to find a month in which 40 percent of the homes for sale had a price reduction.

There were 570 active listings in July. That’s the highest amount since August 2015 (583 active listings). And on Aug. 1, 2017, there were 638 active listings, the most since there were 638 in October 2014.

The sales data these past couple of months are open to various interpretations. Wherever you are in the real estate cycle — buying a home or thinking of selling — I can help you. My integrity, ethics and experience will ensure you of an optimal outcome. To learn more about how I can assist you in your real estate transaction, contact me at (541) 383-1426, or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

Record for median sales price in June; $400K mark exceeded

Back-to-back months of declines in the median sales price of homes in Bend, Oregon, ended in June: The median price was $409,000 – a record for the 10-plus years for which the Skjersaa Group has data and the first time in that period that the median price has reached $400,000.

June 2017 figures share some characteristics from the same month in previous years, and the most important one might be that only once in the preceding 10 years was June the high-water mark for the median sales price in a calendar year.

June had the highest number of active homes (442) and the highest number of sold homes (246) this calendar year to date, as was the case with June each of the previous three years. In all three of those years, the June sales price exceeded what was then the year-to-date median price for the respective calendar year, but later months those years exceeded June’s median price.

Translation: Based on data from the last three years, June’s record-breaking sales prices could very well be eclipsed this calendar year.

It’s worth remembering that the median sales price is not an average sales price. The median is the amount at which half of the homes sold in a given month went for less than the median, and half went for more than the median.

Using the median figure rather than the average prevents the figures in question from being skewed by a handful of high-end homes.

(Which didn’t happen, anyway. Ten homes priced for $825,100 or more were sold in June, one fewer than in each of April and May.)

The inventory of homes on the market increased in June to 3.3 months. That’s the highest for a June since 2014, when it was 4.2 months. But, similar to a phenomenon we pointed out last month, the inventory for Bend as a whole is weighted by the most expensive tier of homes.

Inventory for homes in the range of $825,100 and $925,000 was 3.2 months, and for homes priced at $925,100 and up, it was 15.2 months. For homes priced up to $825,000 – which made up 79 percent of the active listings in June – the inventory was three months and less.

June’s median sales price was 10.5 percent higher than in June 2016. That marked the third year in a row that the year-over-year increase in June exceeded 10 percent. June’s $409,000 median price was 7.9 percent over the previous month’s – and that’s the highest month-over-month increase for a June since 2011, when the region was clawing its way out of the housing decline.

Another record was set in June, and that was for lowest average days on market: 91 days. It was the first time the average was less than 100 days since July 2016 (when it was 97 days) and only the third time since at least January 2007 (the extent of our data set) it has been less than 100 days.

It seems clear the real estate market in Bend has hit full stride. It’s an exciting time to be in the market – as a buyer or a seller. Whatever your position, I can assist in bringing about a solution that leaves you satisfied and in a great position.  To learn more about how I can assist you in your real estate transaction, contact me at (541) 383-1426, or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

The Skjersaa Group pledges at least 1% of revenue to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment