Median sales price falls for second month in a row. What happened last time that occurred?

The housing market in Bend, Oregon, tapered slightly in May, as the median sales price fell for the second month in succession and the inventory of homes on the market rose compared with April. Still, the year-to-date median price remained steady at a price that represents a high for the 10-plus years for which we have data.

May’s median sales price was $379,000. That’s 4.1 percent lower than March’s median sales price of $395,000 and 2.8 percent lower than April’s median of $389,950.

If recent history is any indication, this dip could eventually turn into a trampoline. The last time monthly median sales prices declined in consecutive months was in 2016 (when they fell for three months in a row, in fact). That stretch of monthly declines after the median price reached $374,000 in May ended emphatically with a 7.5 percent month-over-month increase from August to September to $385,750 – the calendar-year high for 2016.

Two hundred seventeen homes were sold in May, four fewer than in April. The number of houses whose priced was reduced was 107 — 32 percent. The last time the percentage of active listings with a reduced price was that high was in the three-month stretch in 2016 when the monthly median sales figure dropped. (See the previous paragraph for what happened after that three-month stretch.)

Year over year, May’s median sales price showed a 1.3 percent increase from the corresponding month in 2016. That is the smallest year-over-year increase in a monthly median sales figure since January 2016. That month, the median sales price of $317,450 was 3.7 percent lower than in January 2015.

The 2017 year-to-date median price stayed at $380,000 after taking into account May’s sales. That remains the highest year-to-date median price on record. In fact, each month of 2017 has reset or tied the record for the highest year-to-date median sales price.

High-end homes a big part of inventory

The inventory of homes rose to 3.1 months in May. Inventory — expressed as the time that would be required to sell all homes on the market given the current pace of activity — was 1.7 months in May 2016.

May 2017’s inventory is skewed, however, toward higher-priced homes. Of May’s 337 active listings, 33 percent were priced at more than $725,000 (that percentage was 25 percent in March and 31 percent in April). For homes priced from $225,100 to $625,000, the inventory is in the range of two months. And two months of inventory falls well on the side of being a “seller’s market.”

Tied to the inventory is the volume of homes on the market. Each month this year, the active listings have been the fewest for those respective months in the 10-plus years for which the Skjersaa Group has data. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the quantity of homes priced at $725,000 and less is particularly tight.

Late spring and summer traditionally are the most active months for real estate, and if you’re looking to buy a home or considering putting yours on the market, I can be of help. In my time as a Realtor, I have helped clients achieve their desired results regardless of the time of year and the trend of the market. 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 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.

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.

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.

November housing data moderates in Bend as winter approaches

downloadBy Jason Boone

The residential real estate market in Bend, Oregon tends to slow during the winter months. Typically beginning in November, the colder weather combined with the holiday season often sends potential home buyers and sellers into temporary hibernation, leading to fewer new listings and the whittling down of inventory.

November 2015 was no exception, according to data recently compiled by the Skjersaa Group.  The median sales price in Bend on 141 sales in November landed at $321,500, down from $339,950 in October and the lowest monthly median since April. The year-to-date median — the number where half the homes sold for more and half less — fell from $329,000 in October to $328,000 in November.

This is no surprise. A closer look at the data reveals an ongoing winter trend that has developed since the Bend market began to pick up steam in 2013. The monthly median — which fell from $295,000 in October 2014 to $290,000 in November 2014 — has dropped from October to November for three straight years.

Nov 2015 Median

More than that, the number of active listings in Bend slipped from 565 in October to 508 in November, continuing a trend of October-November inventory declines that also began in November 2013. And the number of new listings slipped to 143 in November from 236 in October, while the total months of inventory increased to 5.2 from 3.8.

By now you probably get the idea.

Why is it important? A knee-jerk reaction might lead someone to mistake the moderations in the November data for something more troubling. But in reality, such predictable trends give a sense of normalcy to the market. And predictability is often a good indicator of a healthy market.

In addition, the slower market can also present unique buying opportunities, even if there are fewer active listings. Fewer listings are typically met with fewer buyers, and the average days on market hit 138 days in November, up from 109 in October.

Of course, there is more to learn from the data. Some other notable items from the report include:

  • The most competitive segment of the market remains homes priced from $225,100 to $325,000. That price range saw 68 homes sold in November, down from 78 in October. With 115 active listings, there was just 1.7 months of inventory in November and the average days on market for each home was just 110 days, the shortest of any price range in Bend.
  • Conversely, there were just 11 sales of homes listed for $625,100 or more in November, down from 20 in October. There are now 143 homes listed in that range and 13 months of inventory, which is up from 7.8 months in October.
  • Homes priced from $425,100 to $525,000 saw the only month-over-month decline in inventory, dropping from 6.1 months in October to 4.8 months in November.
  • For the entire market, the average sale price was 99 percent of the average listing price, up from 98 percent in October. The November tally is equal to the average for the year. In November, homes priced from $125,000 to $225,000 (101 percent) and homes priced from $325,100 to $425,00 (100 percent) beat the annual average.
  • For the 14th consecutive month home inventory was held at less than six months, the time considered to be a balanced market. But the 5.2 months of inventory in November crept closer, and is a full month more of inventory than the 4.2 months in November 2014.

Knowing how the data applies to each buyer or seller takes expertise. I can help navigate the market and find the perfect Bend, Oregon home.

To learn more about Bend home prices, get started with listing your Bend home, or to view area homes contact me call (541) 383-1426, or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

Bend median home price stays strong in October

Bend Oregon Home For SaleBy Jason Boone

The upward trajectory of the Bend, Oregon housing market continued in October 2015, extending a four-year recovery trend from the depths of the Great Recession. Bend’s October median home price came in at a robust $339,500, according to data recently compiled by the Skjersaa Group. The year-to-date median — the number where half the homes sold for more and half less — sits at $329,000.

Both median prices represent a significant year-over-year gain. In October 2014, the median sat at $290,000 both for the month and year to date. Of course, anyone with a memory remembers the scariest days of the recession, when the median home price in Bend bottomed out at $169,950 in February 2011.

Despite the dramatic gains, though, the Bend market is closer to balance than some might think. For one, the median home price is still well below the statistical high point hit in May 2007, when the median price in Bend hit $396,250.

And contrary to what many folks who see all those For Sale signs might believe, there is not a glut of homes on the market right now. In fact, that appears to be far from the case.

The number of active listings is significantly fewer than the waning days of the housing boom. In September 2007, 1,587 active listings were on the Bend market. And in February 2009, the months of inventory sat at 47.7 months.

Contrast that to today. Right now there are 565 active listings, which is less than the 638 on the market in October 2014. And in October, the Bend market had just 3.8 months of inventory of homes for sale. In fact, the market has averaged just three months of inventory year to date.

What does that all mean for buyers and sellers?

Six to seven months of inventory in Bend is considered a balanced market, which means the market still is favoring sellers. But there are signs that the Bend market does seem to be moderating after nearly four years of gains, which countered three years of losses.

Moderation, of course, is good news for most everybody.

Knowing what trends have developed can give both buyers and sellers an advantage in the market. Here are some other interesting tidbits that can be gleaned from the data:

  • The earlier in the year the better for sellers. More and more homes are hitting the market as the months get warmer. Since 2013, the first half of each year has produced far fewer price reductions. In April 2015 Bend saw 79 price reductions. In May, that number jumped to 138 and had climbed each month since before falling back to 145 in October.
  • The months of home inventory has held under six months during each month since September 2014. Until it reaches six months of inventory, though, Bend will be considered a “seller’s market.” The market for homes of less than $425,000 was the most competitive, with less than two months of inventory.
  • The average selling price so far this year has been 99 percent of its listing price. And the average days on market has been 120 days. Not surprisingly, in October homes between $125,000 and $225,000 (a small group that accounted for just 10 sales) spent the fewest days on market at just 85 days.
  • In October, there were 194 homes sold, which is fewer than the 207 sold in October 2014. So far this year there has been an average of 202 sales per month, which is up from the 183 per month through October 2014 and the 186 per month in 2013. The statistical low was in 2008 with a shocking average of just 68 sales per month.

Knowing how the data applies to each buyer or seller takes expertise. I can help navigate the market and find the perfect Bend, Oregon home.

To learn more about Bend home prices, get started with listing your Bend home, or to view area homes contact me call (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