Median price drops in February amid overall mixed data

UntitledLooking solely at February’s median sales price of a home in Bend, Oregon, one might be struck by the decline from the previous month. But other data from the real estate market indicate the demand for homes remains strong.

February’s median sales price was $354,853. That’s 4.3 percent lower than January 2017’s figure of $370,813. Compared with February 2016, however, median prices showed a 7.0 percent increase.

This was the sixth consecutive February in which there was a year-over-year increase in the median sales price. Last month’s 7.0 percent year-over-year rise was the second-lowest over this six-year span, not much more than the 6.8 percent increase from February 2014 to February 2015. In the other four years, the February year-over-year increase in the median sales price was more than 14 percent, and — looking at just one month earlier — the year-over-year increase from January 2016 to January 2017 was 16.8 percent.

Does February’s median sales price mean that the appetite for homes is grinding down? In considering this question, it’s worth looking at other information from last month.

The inventory of homes for sale decreased from 3.1 months in January to 2.7 months in February. In 2016, the February inventory of 4.9 months was a calendar-year high.

The average days on the market in February also reflected a more active than usual February market. In January, the average days on market was 141 days, and in February it fell to 136, within two days of the shortest time in any February in the 10 years for which the Skjersaa Group has data.

One hundred twenty-eight homes were sold in February. On a per-day basis, that’s a higher rate than the 130 sold in January. Comparing to February in previous years, the 128 is the second-most sold in the last 10 years, behind the 131 in 2014.

But there’s also this: Fifty-seven houses on the market in Bend reflected a reduced price. As a percentage of active listings (324 homes), that is 17.6 percent. Looking, again, to February in previous calendar years, that was the most since a 19.9 percent reduced rate in February 2011. In February 2012, the rate was 17.5 percent, essentially the same as in February of this year.

The percentage of homes priced at $625,100 or more continues to be the largest segment of homes on the market. Of the 324 active listings in February, 35 percent (114 homes) were in this price range after 36 percent of active listings were of this price in January. As the calendar turned to March, there were 326 active listings, and the percentage of homes priced $625,100 or more was higher: 38 percent.

Whatever the market is doing, you will benefit from having an experienced Realtor working for your best interests. I know the Bend market and will help you realize a worry-free outcome — whether you’re considering selling your home or you’re a buyer. 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.

Median sales price up in January even as pace of sales slows

Median sales chart

By Jason Boone

The numbers of homes sold in Bend, Oregon, in January dropped compared with previous months — which probably shouldn’t be a surprise given our weather — but the median price of those homes that were bought was on the rise.

The median sales price in January 2017 was $370,813 — 4.6 percent higher than in December 2016 and 16.8 percent higher year-over-year.

If data from past years hold true this year, the January median sales price can be viewed as a floor of price support for the rest of the year. In four of the previous five years, the median sales price in January wound up no lower than the second-lowest median sales price for the entire calendar year.

In 2015, though, the year that was the exception, the end-of-year median sales price of $327,500 was lower than January’s median sales price of $329,700.

A total of 130 homes were sold in January 2017. That’s the fewest since 125 homes changed hands in February 2016. (On a per-day basis, though, the rate of sales last month was in fact quicker than in February 2016.) You’d have to go back another year, to January 2015 (when 120 homes were sold), to find a January with so few homes sold.

A drop in activity was also seen in the number of homes coming to market in January: 127, which is the fewest in any month in more than two years and the fewest in any January since 2012. Of course, Bend’s record-breaking snowfall could very well be responsible for at least some of the slowdown in real estate activity.

Other observations about January’s sales data:

  • The inventory of houses — the amount of time it would take for all homes on the market to sell, given the current pace of sales — was 3.1 months in January. That’s the lowest inventory for a January in the 10 years for which the Skjersaa Group has sales data and about 10 percent lower than the 3.4-month inventory of January 2016.
  • Sellers are pricing their homes appropriately. The average sales price to list price was back up to 99 percent from 98 percent in December 2016.
  • The percentage of active listings priced at $625,100 or more was 36 percent in January 2017. That’s the highest percentage of homes on the market in that price range since August 2016 (39 percent). There was 9.1 months of inventory of homes in that price range last month, the highest since February 2016.
  • Average days on the market rose from 121 days in December 141 in January. That is comparable to the previous January (138 days in January 2016). In the last five years, January’s average days on the market turned out to be the highest or second-highest figure for that calendar year.

After the snow clears, the pace of real estate activity in Bend is likely to pick up steam again. If you’re thinking about buying a home or considering selling, my knowledge of the market can be a considerable asset working in your favor. 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.

Bend market sees traditional seasonal changes in December

By Jason Boone

With the end of the year comes a loosening of the pace in many businesses, and that includes the real estate market. As has been seen frequently in the past in Bend, Oregon, and has come to be expected, the market cooled before the calendar flipped on what turned out to be a record-setting year.

The number of homes sold in Bend in December was down from the previous month and from December of the previous year. Does that mean the market is leveling off? Well, consider that the median sales price was down 5.2 percent from November — but up 9.0 percent from December of the previous year.

Although the raw number of homes sold in December (192) was down from the 196 sold in November (and the 214 sold in December 2015), as a percentage of active listings, month-over-month sales went up in December 2016: from 42.4 percent of active listings in November to 47.8 percent of active listings in December.

Still, there were signs that the fever of the market is slackening.

The average sales price to list price in December was 98 percent. Other than in March (when there was an anomalous 95 percent ratio of the sales price to list price), 98 percent is the lowest this calendar year. And it was realized in three of the last five months of the calendar year.

But based on historical data, such a decline was to be expected in December. In two of the three previous years, even as the real estate market rebounded from the depths of the recession, the average sales price to list price in December was off the highs set in those calendar years.

That type of seasonal dip has been followed, in each of the last five years, by successively higher year-end median sales prices.

The inventory of homes on the market is frequently used to gauge the status of the market, with six months the widely accepted threshold between a buyer’s market and a seller’s market. In December, we saw an inventory of 2.5 months — emphatically on the side of a seller’s market, yet the fourth-highest figure for that data point in Bend in 2016.

The preceding point might be the most apt reflection on the Bend market at the end of 2016: By the standard set earlier in the year — such as a median sales price of $385,750 in September — December represented a slowdown. But in looking at the time span for which the Skjersaa Group has data (dating to 2007), the $354,529 median sales price in December would have ranked as the fourth-highest entering 2016.

Other statistics of note from December’s sales report:

– December’s median sales price was the lowest since the $346,000 in March. But looking at previous years, such a decline isn’t unusual. The median price of $325,275 in December 2015 was more in line with the median sales price seen in the spring of that year.

– The median sales price for calendar year 2016 was $360,000. That number was essentially unchanged the final four months of the year and is the highest year-to-date median price in our 10-year data set. The previous high was $345,000, in 2007. The peak for the year-to-date median price in 2015 was $329,000; 2016’s figure represents a 9.4 percent increase.

– The average days on the market in December was 121. That is the longest since April, when it was 125. Year over year, the 121 days is one fewer than the average days on the market in December 2015.

Perhaps the best word to describe the Bend real estate market, as the above numbers indicate, is dynamic — things are always evolving. And whether you are considering selling your home or are investigating the possibility of buying, I can help. My knowledge of the Bend market and my attention to your needs will help produce an outcome that leaves you more than satisfied. To get started with listing your Bend home or to view area homes, contact me at (541) 383-1426, or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

No slowdown in Bend market as winter approaches

Even in the Bend real estate market, it’s reasonable to expect a slowdown in activity in the final months of the year, with fewer homes sold and prices dropping.

Except this year, that’s not happening in Bend.

November sales figures, in fact, showed an increase in the median sales price from the previous month, a rise in the number of units sold and a drop in inventory to a level traditionally seen only in summertime months.

The median sales price in November was $374,000. That is an increase of 1.2 percent over October’s median. For context on that, consider that the median sales price the previous two Novembers (after the housing market had begun its rebound) decreased. What’s more, the $374,000 median price in November 2016 matches the second-highest monthly median sales price this calendar year (also seen in May).

Part of what drove the rise in median price was the percentage of homes $625,000 or more that were sold. Seventeen percent of the homes that were sold in November were in that price range, which is the highest percentage for homes of that price this calendar year.

Looking at sales in all price ranges, the raw number of homes sold also increased month-over-month. It was a small increase from October (from 192 to 196), but homes sold as a percentage of active listings rose from 36 percent in October to 42 percent in November. The 42 percent mark is the highest for any November in the 10 years for which the Skjersaa Group has data.

Another sign of the continued strength of the market is the inventory of homes for sale. The inventory is a measure of how long it would take, based on current pace of activity, to sell all of the active listings if no new properties went to market. The inventory in November was 2.3 months. That’s the lowest for any November in our data set and less than half of the six-month threshold that is traditionally regarded as the threshold between a seller’s and a buyer’s market. Until this calendar year, the inventory had dipped to 2.3 months once, in June 2013.

Data for November shows that the sale price-to-list price figure was 100 percent, which hadn’t been reached since September 2015.

Whether you are looking to sell your home or are exploring your options to buy, I can help you through the process. My knowledge of the Bend market and my attention to your needs will help produce an outcome that leaves you more than satisfied. To get started with listing your Bend home or to view area homes, contact me at (541) 383-1426, or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

In the spirit of the holiday season …

The leaves have fallen from the trees. A light dusting of snow has covered the ground on a couple of recent mornings. Car windshields have to be scraped clear of frost and ice for the morning drive to work.

Yes, we’re full-on into autumn and just days from Thanksgiving.

This time of year is often used to reflect on the good fortune we might have in our lives. For me, one aspect of my personal and professional life that I’m grateful for is the ability to work and live — truly live — in Bend. This area is special, a belief reflected in the growth in our population and the steady demand for housing.

I’m thankful that clients of the Skjersaa Group have chosen our company to represent them in the buying or selling process (or both). We believe our knowledge of the community and the market sets us apart, but we offer more than that. We care deeply about this area. Our abiding concern for Bend and the surrounding area prompts us to support various causes dedicated to sustaining the high quality of life Bend offers.

In 2015, the Skjersaa Group donated more than $9,500 to local outdoors and environmentally oriented organizations, including the Deschutes Land Trust, the Deschutes River Conservancy and The Environmental Center.

This calendar year, the Skjersaa Group has donated more than $6,500 to various organizations, including Deschutes County Search & Rescue and Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (which works on behalf of abused or neglected children).

BendPropertySearch itself provides $1,500 a year in sponsorship of Bend Endurance Academy. This non-profit provides programs in rock climbing, cycling and nordic skiing and emphasizes teamwork, personal growth and community responsibility.

Our community giving circles back to our clients. Our ability to support local charitable organizations wouldn’t be possible without the support of our clients. We’re grateful for their faith in our ability to serve their needs.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season.

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