Inventory down, median price up in April

By Jason Boone

An already tight housing market in Bend, Oregon, got tighter in April.

Through the end of April, the inventory of houses for sale in the Bend market was 2.1 months, according to data compiled by the Skjersaa Group. The inventory of 2.1 months is the lowest in the time period covered by the Skjersaa Group’s data, which dates to the start of 2007.

Months of 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.

April’s 2.1 months of inventory is a decline from 2.3 months in March, which tied June 2013 for the lowest inventory in the Skjersaa Group’s data set. In April of the previous year, the Bend market had an inventory of 3.1 months.

Pending sales headed into May indicate another busy month of home sales in the Bend area.

Pending sales headed into May indicate another busy month of home sales in the Bend area.

Pending home sales in April 2016 also reflect the tightening market. Last month had 323 pending sales, which exceeds any other month for which we have data. The only other months since the start of 2007 in which pending sales exceeded 300 were April 2015 (301) and May 2015 (310). The number of pending sales in April 2016 promises continued robust sales figures for this month.

The dwindling inventory apparently played a hand in the rise of the median price of sold homes. April’s median sales price in the Bend market was $363,650. That’s the third-highest median sales price in the data set, and the highest since May 2007, when the median price was $396,250. The inventory in May 2007, however, was 15.2 months, more than seven times as great as the April 2016 inventory.

Comparison to the previous month and the previous year demonstrate how the market has moved. April’s median sales price is 5.1 percent higher than the median in March of this year ($346,000) and 17.3 percent higher than in April 2015 ($309,990).

By volume of sales, April was the busiest month of this calendar year with 205 closed sales. That’s barely more than were sold in April 2015, when 203 home sales closed. But the number of homes for sale last month in the Bend market was 360, compared with 424 in April 215. Expressed another way, two more homes were sold last month than in April 2015, even though 15 percent fewer homes were on the market in April 2016 compared with a year ago.

As of May 1, 407 homes in the Bend market were for sale, the most for any month this year.

A data point that aligns with the increase in the median sales price is the number of homes sold for more than $425,100. There were 69 such sales last month, the most since 72 in that price range were sold in September 2015. As a percentage of all home sales, 34 percent of April’s sales were in this price range, whereas 32 percent of the sales last September were for $425,100 or more.

And, not unexpectedly based on the above statistic, fewer houses in the range of $225,100 to $325,000 were sold in April. Thirty-three percent of April 2016’s sales were in that range. That’s down a little from March of this year (37 percent) and down more from April 2015 (46 percent).

The aggregated data from a month of sales and listings, of course, can’t determine the needs of an individual buyer or seller. I can help navigate the market and find the perfect Bend home, or market your home in this environment.

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 visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

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.

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