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.

October sales figures reflect normal seasonal changes

median-sales-price-chart_10-oct-2016By Jason Boone

The number of homes sold dropped and the median home-sale price in Bend, Oregon, fell in October, copying a trend from the previous October. The year-to-date median sales price continued to rise last month — as it has done each month in 2016 — adding a very small amount in October to the previous month’s figure.

From the September median sales price of $385,750 — the second-highest in the 10 years for which the Skjersaa Group has data — October’s figure dropped 4.2 percent to $369,500. In three of the last four months, the median price has been less than $370,000, a threshold reached in May ($374,000), June ($370,000) and September.

For further context on October’s median sales price, consider this: Before 2016, October’s figure of $369,500 would have ranked as the second-highest for any month in the past 10 years, behind the high of $396,250 in May 2007.

One hundred ninety-two homes were sold in October, the fewest in any month since 185 were sold in March. A couple of other data points also indicate a slackening in the pace of sales.

The average sales price to list price was 98 percent, slightly off the 99 percent seen in seven of the previous nine months of 2016. The inventory of homes on the market rose from 2.4 months in September to 3.4 in October, which is the highest since a 4.9-month inventory at the end of February.

Inventory estimates how long it would take to sell all of the homes for sale if no new properties went to market. Six months is commonly used as the dividing line between a seller’s market and a buyer’s market, so even with the rise in October, the inventory in Bend skews toward a seller’s market.

From Jan. 1 to the end of October, the year-to-date median sales price in Bend is $360,000. That figure has risen every month this year from $317,450 in January. The increase from September to October was $100.

The real estate environment in October shared many characteristics with that of October 2015. Compared with the month before, the number of homes sold and the median sales price declined in October 2015, and the inventory rose. Rather than signaling a peak or a bubble in the market, however, the fall and winter market in 2015 was a quiet period before 2016’s almost-unprecedented sales prices.

And even with last year’s September-to-October decline in median sales price and homes sold, October 2015 ranked as the third-most active October in the 10 years for which we have data. In light of that, the changes in the market we saw this October appear as relatively normal, not a sign of a long-term weakening of the market.

Looking ahead to November, there were 258 pending sales at October’s end, very close to the 2016 end-of-month average of 256. November began with 465 active homes for sale; the beginning-of-month average this year is 452.

Whether you’re looking to sell your home or in the market to buy, my experience in the Bend market will help you achieve an optimal result. To learn more about Bend home options, 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.

Median sales price reverses direction, rises 7.5 percent in September

median-sales-price-chartBy Jason Boone

Any sense during the summer months that the housing market in Bend, Oregon, was softening or beginning to tilt in favor of buyers might be erased by the sales figures from September.

After three months of declines in the median sales price, it rose in September to $385,750. That is 7.5 percent more than the median price in August.

The 7.5 percent month-over-month increase is the biggest since there was a 10.4 percent increase from February 2015 to March 2015. The March 2015 rise, however, followed a 12.1 percent decrease the previous month. The month-to-month declines that preceded this September’s growth in the sales price were all of 1.5 percent or less.

September’s median price is the second-highest in the 10 years for which the Skjersaa Group has data. The only month with a higher median price was May 2007, when it was $396,250.

We all know what happened in the months that followed, of course. But in May 2007, the inventory of homes on the market in Bend was more than 15. Last month, it was 2.4.

Considering that six months is generally regarded as the dividing line between a buyer’s and a seller’s market, you can see that Bend’s market is still humming along.

On Oct. 1, 2007, the interest rate was 6.375 percent.  As of Oct. 1, 2016, the interest rate was 3.625 percent. This equates to an additional $100,000 of purchasing power that buyers have today over 2007.  A $292,000 mortgage in 2007 would have cost $1,821 a month.  Today that same payment affords someone a $399,297 mortgage.  That’s a considerable difference.

Looking at year-over-year numbers, we can see that it’s not unusual for a rise in the median price in September. It happened last year (0.8 percent) and in 2013 (13.0 percent).

The number of active listings in September was 554, a calendar-year high. In 2013 and 2014, September also had the greatest number of listings.

The average days on the market for a home in September was 104 days. It was the third month in a row with an increase in that data point, but it was the lowest for any September for which we have data. So, houses stayed on the market longer than in July (97 days) and August (101) but for considerably less time than in previous Septembers.

And the average sales price to list price was back at 99 percent last month, after a decline from 99 percent to 98 percent in August.

More than one-fourth of the homes sold in May went for $525,100 or more. That’s the highest percentage of sold homes at that price this calendar year.

There were 208 pending sales in September, the fewest since 170 in January. That might indicate a slower pace of sales to come in October, but in six of the last seven years, more homes were sold in October than in September. The exception was last year.

The right time to buy or sell a house can happen at any time. My experience in the market will help you achieve an optimal result, whether you’re looking to sell your home or in the market to buy. To learn more about Bend home options, 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.

Median sales price cools slightly, but market far from a deep freeze


By Jason Boone

Although the median sales price of a home in Bend, Oregon, dropped in July for the second month in a row, there are plenty of signs that the trajectory of the market has only slightly leveled off and hasn’t begun anything approaching a downward path.

July’s median sales price was $364,450, according to data compiled by the Skjersaa Group. That is 1.5 percent less than June’s median of $370,000. Since May, when the median was $374,000, the median price has dropped 2.6 percent.

Still, July’s $364,450 ranks as the fifth-highest median sale price in the Skjersaa Group’s data set, which dates to 2007. The only months with a greater median sales price than July’s were two months before the recession (April and May 2007) and May and June of this year.

In spring 2007, the market had an inventory of 12.8 months in April and 15.2 months in May. In July 2016, that inventory was up for the second consecutive month from a calendar-year low of 1.7 in May but still at a historically low 2.2 months.

A market’s inventory represents how long it would take for all homes currently on the market to be sold if the number of houses for sale held steady. An inventory of six months is generally regarded as the boundary between a seller’s market and a buyer’s market.

At the start of August, the Bend market had 534 active listings. That’s the most properties that have been for sale since October 2015, when 565 were listed. In terms of the number of listings, this year’s market is following a pattern begun in 2013, when July and August set calendar-year highs for listings (subsequent months in some past years exceeded August’s figures and pushed the calendar-year highs even higher).

Before a late-spring increase in homes on the market, the raw quantity of properties for sale in 2016 lagged what we saw in 2015. Beginning in July 2013, there were at least 400 active listings each month until January 2016, when there were 395. Not until May, when there were 407 properties for sale, did this year’s figures break through that milestone.

The average daReduced_July_2016ys on the market fell in July to 97, a low for the nearly 10 years for which we have data. The average sales price to list price remained at 99 percent (where it has been for eight of the last nine months), indicating that properties are coming onto the market at competitive prices.

The number of properties for sale that had a reduction in price hit a calendar-year high in July of 37 percent. Within the price tiers in the Skjersaa Group’s data that had at least five sales in July, homes in the $525,100-to-$625,000 range had the greatest percentage of reduced prices: 47 percent.

With 276 home sales pending at the end of July, we are bound to see another month of robust sales in August. Whether you’re looking to find the perfect Bend home or market your property this summer, I can assist you.

To learn more about Bend home options, 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.

Median sales price declines slightly in June

By Jason Boone

June was the busiest month for home sales in Bend, Oregon, to date in the 2016 calendar year in terms of houses sold and active listings, and the increase in inventory might have helped produce the first month-to-month drop in median sales price since November 2015.

The 462 active listings in June were a calendar-year high, as were the 287 sales. One hundred fifty homes on the market had their prices reduced, a percentage of reductions (32 percent) that hadn’t been seen since September 2015. That month, 37 percent of the 562 listings in Bend had reduced prices.

Inventory crept up from 1.7 months in May to 1.8 months in June. A six-month inventory generally is regarded as the dividing line between a buyer’s and a seller’s market.

The median price of sold homes was $370,000 in June, down from $374,000 in May. Year over year, the median price has risen 12.3 percent from June 2015’s figure of $329,450. Even with the monthly decline in median price in June, the year-to-date median price rose to $352,225.

Notwithstanding the decline in median sales price, June’s figure ranks third in the 10 years for which the Skjersaa Group has sales data. Only May 2007 ($396,250) and May 2016 have had higher median sales prices than June.

Homes in the $425,100-$525,000 range had an average ratio of sales price to list price of 100 percent and the shortest average days on market (94 days) of any price range. Inventory in this price range dropped from 1.9 months in May to 1.6 months in June.

June’s overall ratio of sales price to list price was 99 percent, the same as for the entire 2015 calendar year and the fifth month this calendar year with a ratio that high.

Looking ahead, 288 sales were pending and 506 listings were active heading into July. Those are relatively high numbers and should portend a continuing active market.

The real estate environment in Bend might appear daunting, considering the pace of activity in such a desirable market. My experience here can help you find the right home at the right price, or, if you are looking to sell, I can help you market your home for an optimal outcome in our conditions.

To learn more about Bend home prices, get started with listing your Bend home, or to view area homes, contact me at (541) 383-1426, or 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