Brisk sales in March lead to tighter market in Bend

Home AppreciationBy Jason Boone

Buyers are off to a brisk start to the year apparently, leaving an almost historically tight market for single-family homes in Bend.

How tight is the market you ask? Through the month of March, the Bend market offered up about 2.3 months of inventory, according to data recently compiled by the Skjersaa Group. That is tied for the lowest mark in at least the last 10 years, equaling the 2.3 month of inventory in June 2013.

Part of the reason why the market is tight is that buyers appear to be getting a jump on the buying season. Bend saw 185 sales in March, up from 125 in February and 164 in March 2015. But sellers are moving a bit slower, though. In March, there were 383 active listings, the exact number as in February and down from 401 active listings in March 2015.

The math is relatively simple: a brisk sales pace coupled with fewer active listings equals a tighter market. And a tight market, not surprisingly, generally means an uptick in prices.

March sales

True to form, March delivered.

The March median sales price — the midpoint in which half the homes in Bend sold for more and half for less — landed at $346,000. That is up from $331,660 in February. Through the first three months, the year-to-date median stands at $333,045, up from $322,800 in the first quarter of 2015.

And as the weather warms, there appears no end in sight to the fast pace. March ended with 276 sales pending, which is on par with the 278 pending sales in March 2015. Only one other March in the last 10 years has topped more than 200 pending sales (209 in March 2013).

Some more interesting data from the Skjersaa Group’s March report:

  • Interestingly, and perhaps counterintuitively, the average sales price was 95 percent of the average list price. That is the lowest average sales-price-to-list-price ratio since 2011 and breaks a four-month streak of a ratio of 99 percent. Most likely that is statistical noise, but it is worth watching in the coming months.
  • Buyers in the market for a homes priced at $625,000 or higher should find a nice array of choices. That price range offered up 120 active listings on April 1, the most of any price range. Predictably, the next heftiest market is with homes priced between $325,000 and $425,000. That range began April with 85 active listings.
  • The average days on market for a home was 130 days, a drop from 142 days in February. The average days on market was in line with March 2015, which boasted an average of 132 days.
  • Homes priced between $225,100 and $325,000 represented 69 of March’s 185 sales, easily the highest-selling price range. Forty-four homes sold between $325,100 and $425,000, the second-highest range.
  • The market for homes priced at $225,000 or less in Bend is almost nonexistent. In March, there were just eight homes sold in that range, and the month brought just five new listings in that price bracket.

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.

Central Oregon home market expectedly cools in February

abode-987096_1280By Jason Boone

A leap year and seasonably mild weather made February 2016 in Bend a bit different than in most years. One thing that was typical, though: a relatively slow home sales month in Bend.

In February, 125 single-family homes were sold, according to data recently compiled by the Skjersaa Group. That is down from the 155 homes sold during a relatively hot-selling January.

No need to worry. A comparatively slow real estate market in February has been about as predictable in February as powder days at Mount Bachelor. In fact, February has been the lowest-producing sales month in Bend in each year since 2012.

In other words, February really has been the calm before the summer real estate storm, which usually begins to show its teeth in March.

Monthly sales

A closer look at the February data actually reveals some strong underlying numbers. For one, February ended with 242 pending home sales. That is the highest February tally in at least 10 years, and well more than the 210 pending sales posted in February 2015. And with 206 new homes listed, the most in a February since 2013, the market remains active.

If there has been anything holding back the market so far this year, it has been a lack of overall inventory. That has had some buyers sitting on the proverbial fence. In February, though, the months of inventory on the market ticked up to 4.9 months from 3.4 months in January. Roughly six months of inventory is considered a balanced market between sellers and buyers.

This all portends to a potentially strong March.

Some more interesting data from the Skjersaa Group’s February report:

  • The February median sales price — the midpoint in which half the homes in Bend sold for more and half for less — landed at $331,660. That is up from $317,450 in January. Through the first two months, the year-to-date median stands at $325,016.
  • The average days on market for a home was 142 days, roughly in line with the 138 days in January. February 2015 saw homes on market for an average of 150 days.
  • Even with 206 new listings, the market in Bend remains relatively tight. At the end of February, Bend had 383 active listings. That is down from 395 in January and the fewest since June 2013.
  • For the fourth consecutive month, the average sales price was 99 percent of list price.
  • Homes priced between $225,100 and $325,000 represented 51 of February’s 125 sales, easily the highest-selling price range. Thirty-six homes sold priced between $325,100 to $425,000, the second-highest range.
  • With 124 listings as of March 1, the heftiest market is homes priced $625,000 and up.

In all, Bend’s market fundamentals remain strong. Good recent news on the jobs front, gives some reason to believe that the broader economy is still on relatively solid footing. And interest rates that remain historically low.

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.

2015 ends with a banner month of home sales in Bend

mortgage interest ratesBy Jason Boone

What was already an impressive year in 2015 ended on a particular high note in December. In fact, an almost shocking number of homes were sold during the last month of 2015, pushing the year into record-breaking territory.

How good of a month was it?

Through the month of December 214 homes were sold, significantly more than the 141 homes that sold in November and the 169 homes that sold in December 2014, according to data recently compiled by the Skjersaa Group. The December pace was closer to the busy months surrounding summer (from May through September monthly sales landed between 225 homes to 259 months) than a typical winter month.

The strong December might actually portend to another big year in 2016, even if there are hunches the end of the year might bring a moderation of the market.

One key piece of data from the report is that the year ended with just 3.1 months of inventory, which is well down from the 5.2 months that were live in November. The tally is the lowest since just 2.4 months of inventory sat on the market in June 2015 and more than a full month less of inventory than in December 2014.

The median price, the midpoint in which half the homes in Bend sold for more and half for less, was $325,275 in December. That is up from $321,275 in November and $290,000 in December 2014. And the sales price of each home was on average 99 percent of listing price, suggesting pricing power for sellers.

Some of the December spike might be explained by the Federal Reserve’s decision to hike interests rates, which may have pushed some potential buyers off the fence. The rental market remains tight. And Bend remains a desirable choice for relocation, making it among the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the nation.

Regardless of the explanation, it appears that Bend’s real estate market remains strong as we begin 2016.

Some more interesting year-end data from the Skjersaa Group report:

  • In 2015, there were 2,370 homes sold in Bend, the most since at least 2006. To compare, 2,145 homes sold in 2014 and 2,171 sold in 2013.
  • The annual median price was $327,500. That is up from $290,000 in 2014.
  • The average days on market in 2015 was 122 days, which is down from 130 days in 2014 and 127 days in 2013.
  • The average inventory was just three months in 2015, which is down significantly from five months in 2014 and four months in 2013. In fact, only twice (February and November) did the monthly inventory rise above four months.
  • In all, an average of 198 homes sold per month in Bend, which is up from 179 homes a month in 2014 and 151 in 2013.

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.

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.

What Not To Put In Your Garage

garage storage

Learn more about what not to store in your garage during the hot summer months.

Simple tips for keeping your garage safe during the summer

By Jason Boone

Here in Bend many homes these days are built with attached garages and a home with a detached garage is very rare.
Although having an attached garage can be very convenient during the winter it can be a danger if you don’t know what you shouldn’t store in your garage during the summer months.

Propane Tanks

You may love your grill and haven’t thought twice about storing it in your garage with the propane tank since you purchased it but the truth is propane tanks should always be stored outside because they can explode.

When storing propane tanks make sure you store them in a cool, ventilated area outside that’s away from any children’s play areas or traffic.

Propane tanks should always be stored in an upright position and they should be kept in a location that’s away from drainage from your rain gutters or snowfall that we might have in the winter.

Gasoline Cans

It’s always a smart choice to store gasoline cans outside, preferably in a garden shed that can be locked when your lawnmower or gas powered tools are not in use.

When storing gasoline cans make sure that your gas can has a twistable lock on it so small children won’t be able to open them if the gas can is left out.

Paint

When storing paint it’s always best to store it in a cool, dry place and since most garages get hot during the summer it’s better to have a storage shed or some other means of storage on your property for your paint.

If you haven’t used house paint that you’re storing in at least 6 months it’s best to recycle it because, old house paint can easily get hard and you will only have to purchase new paint anyway.


Planning On Buying Or Selling In Bend?

Sold Home For Sale Sign & New House

To learn more about buying or selling a home in Bend contact me, Jason Boone, Principal Broker with Duke Warner Realty | Skjersaa Group by calling me at (541) 383-1426 or by emailing me at Jason@sgbend.com.

Two Bulls Fire – Thank You Firefighters

IMAG2899I’ve lived up Skyliners Road for more than 20 years; it’s a wonderful, tight-knit community nestled in the forest, about eight miles west of Bend. I love living in this environment, but it comes with some unique challenges and inherent risks. The average amount of snowfall is greater than down in town, and living in the forest means there are no fire hydrants.

I feel fortunate and grateful to the firefighters who protected my home and tackled the Two Bulls Fire. This experience was a tacit reminder of what’s most important and how easily lives can be changed.

At one point during this past week, there were four fire trucks on my property charged with the duty of defending my home along with my neighbors’. The Governor invoked the Conflagration Act to allocate resources from around the state to defend structures against this wildfire.

As of Tuesday night, I’m back in my own bed and very thankful to all of the personnel involved.

Upon arriving home, I was greeted by a note on an outdoor chair. I had left an old, decrepit Adirondack chair outside near the garage when I left under evacuation orders. Apparently a firefighter had taken a (well-deserved) break, and sat in the chair and subsequently broke it.

Taped to the chair was a letter of apology along with a BRAND NEW Adirondack chair. The Oregon State Patrol took it upon themselves to replace the chair and leave a note explaining what had happened to my chair.

I was deeply touched by the note and their having taken responsibility for the chair. Quite frankly the chair is trivial in comparison to my gratitude for defending my home, where my two daughters have been raised. Nevertheless, this is a true testament of the firefighter’s character, and it was important to me to tell this story and express my appreciation.

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