How the Pandemic Dramatically Affected Bend Real Estate

When the pandemic hit last March, we were prepared for the worst. Still flinching from the apocalyptic economic crisis we endured in 2008, which was especially hard on the local real estate industry in Central Oregon, we were bracing for something similar. Destination mountain towns like Bend suffered the impact of the mortgage crisis almost immediately and were slow to recover.

Fast forward to last March when suddenly, our kids came home from school indefinitely, many of us began working from home, and we collectively tried to grasp what was rapidly unfolding in real time. Almost everything got quiet, including the local real estate market.

Then, even though so many other industries remained stalled, the Bend real estate market started to jog. Then it began a full-on sprint into summer, and it hasn’t really stopped running at full-speed since, even during the holidays.

You’ve probably read at least one article about Bend being a “Zoom Town.” Basically, as people began working and learning remotely (and using video apps like Zoom to attend meetings and classes virtually), they realized they could pursue their dream of relocating, and many of them chose Bend.

There was also some upsizing among locals who realized they needed more space to accommodate work-from-home and remote learning. So, who sold their homes? Some Bend-ites moved away to be near family, and others, who were dismayed by the growth of Bend, moved to smaller towns and rural settings.

The annual market trend research we just analyzed illustrates clearly just how dynamic the Bend residential real estate market was in 2020. You can view the full report here.

Here are a few highlights from our in-house data:

Median List and Sales Price

  • The median asking price for a single-family home in Bend was up 9% in 2020, from $458,950 in 2019, to $499,900 last year.
  • The median sales price of single-family homes was up 12% year-to-year, from $450,000 in 2019 to $505,000 in 2020.
  • The median sales price of lots in Bend last year was $275,000.

Active and New Listings

  • Average monthly new listings were down only 3% in 2020, from 224 in 2019 to 217.
  • However, due to overwhelming buyer demand, active listings in Bend were down 36% year-to-year. There was an average of 284 active listings each month in 2020 compared to 442 per month in 2019.

Home and Lot Sales

  • Annually, sales of single-family homes were up 11%, from 2,356 in 2019 to 2,625 last year.
  • Average monthly home sales were up 11%, from 193 in 2019 to 215 in 2020.
  • Average monthly pending sales were up 11% also.
  • Sales of lots were up 29% in 2020, from 162 in 2019 to 209 last year. This was due to both limited inventory of existing homes and an expansion of the Urban Growth Boundary in Bend.

Monthly Inventory, Days on Market, and Price Reductions

  • The inventory of available homes for sale in Bend was down 50% year-to-year, from an average of 4 months’ worth of inventory in 2019 to 2 months in 2020.
  • However, if you’ve been following our monthly market trend blogs, you know that average inventory is now at historic lows. Last month, there was 0.6 months of inventory.
  • Sellers, buyers, and real estate industry professionals were motivated to expedite streamlined transactions during the pandemic. The average days on market went down 60%, from 402 days in 2019 to 103 last year.
  • Not surprisingly, price reductions were down 40% in 2020 due to an extremely competitive market.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for help with making a real estate strategy for 2021 or to find out what your home in Bend is worth.

– Jason