After four months in a row of record-setting real estate prices in Bend, Oregon, the market took a step back in October. The median sales price of a home in Bend declined last month, but there is strong evidence that the move was a consolidation, not a sign that the demand for homes in this area is declining.

The median sales price in October was $404,250. That’s about 3 percent lower than September’s median of $416,500. A 3 percent month-over-month decline might raise eyebrows, but there are other things to keep in mind regarding that figure.

For one, the median sales price in the month of October was the fifth-highest out of the approximately 130 months for which we have data. Looked at in the vacuum of the summer and fall of 2017, yes, October’s sales figure might appear ominous, but in the longer term, it doesn’t seem striking.

Also, we can look at the year-over-year figures. October 2017’s median sales price was 9.4 percent greater than the October 2016 figure of $369,500.

Prices usually decline after hot Septembers

It’s important to remember, also, the seasonal nature of the real estate market. October 2017 marks the fourth year out of the last five that October’s median price fell from the month prior. And in three of the previous four years, the September median sales figure turned out to be the highest month in that calendar year.

These patterns tell us that a decline from September to October isn’t to be unexpected, especially given that September’s median prices have tended to set the pace for an entire calendar year.

One big difference between October and September is in the inventory of homes. It fell in October from 5.7 months to 3.6 months. Granted, September’s inventory was relatively high, but things clearly tightened up in October.

Breaking down the inventory by price range, we see that every price range at $825,000 or below had an inventory of 3.3 months or less. One can define “affordable housing” in many ways, but October’s figures clearly show that homes in the price ranges that appeal to the largest swath of buyers remain in high demand.

The average days on the market for a home in October is another sign that what we saw is more properly regarded as a consolidation than a correction. The average DOM in October was 106 days. That’s the third-lowest in 2017 and the lowest for any October on record.

Busiest October on record

Given the inventory and relatively brisk sales pace, we shouldn’t be surprised that the number of homes sold in October – 228 – were the highest for any October on record.

Turning to the number of reduced listings as a percentage of active listings (182 reduced out of 575 active, or 31.7 percent), we see a figure lower than in any of the previous four months – those same months when the market set records. This indicates sellers aren’t having an inordinate amount of trouble in commanding their list price – assuming it’s appropriate to begin with.

Whatever your position in the Bend real estate market – buying a home or thinking about selling – I can be of assistance. My experience, knowledge of the local real estate environment and ethical approach to the business will help assure you of an optimal outcome. Please contact me at (541) 383-1426, or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.