The Times They Are a Changin’…

When I was a teenager, I swore up and down that I would never be like My Parents. They didn’t like my long hair. The music I listened to drove them nuts. Etc. So…at the risk of sounding a bit like my parents, I have to say that times have certainly changed – as times always do. The number one song on the Billboard Hot 100 when I was 15 (1968) was Sittin On The Dock Of The Bay by Otis Redding. My children are all grown and off living their own lives so I had to look up what a 15 year-old might be listening to today.  In January of this year the number one hit was Havana, recorded by Camila Cabello & Young Thug.  I listened to it. It’s different than what Otis Redding sang about. Just sayin…

So many things are changing, and real estate is right up there near the top of the list. We always have peaks and valleys in this business. We had the “great recession” (and I’m still wondering what was so great about it). We all read about what’s going on in markets like San Jose, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland and other large urban areas. Home prices in these areas have…exploded!  Places like Boise, Idaho, Austin, Texas and….Bend, Oregon are seeing an influx of people from high-priced areas of the country like never before. And these people are fleeing these cities for many reasons; high taxes, high crime, horrendous traffic jams and other factors.

The affects on Central Oregon are certainly positive for some and more negative for others. For those moving here, home prices are often seen as a relative bargain when compared to the place they just left. For Central Oregonians looking to move from here, the influx of people has increased the value of their properties to levels some couldn’t have imagined. In June of 2014 the median price for a home in Bend was $292,000.  Today that number is $415,000. In June 2014 the median sales price per square foot was $163 per foot. Properties selling in Bend last month sold for an average of $217 per foot.   AND…homes that are priced at market value are selling, on average, in just 70 days.

In June of 2014 we only had 3 months worth of real estate inventory available. That constitutes a seller’s market and it hasn’t improved much since then. Today we have just 2 months of inventory. Supply is absolutely not keeping up with demand.  The majority of homes sold in the last 12-month period were in the $250,000 to $450,000 price range. But it’s also worth noting that 85 homes listed at $1 million or more have sold in Bend in the last 12 months.

We will continue to see low inventory and as long as buyers are coming here from areas where home prices are in the stratosphere I believe we will continue to see prices in Bend (and Redmond and Sisters) continue to move upward. I also have noticed that homes listed above $600K are sitting longer. The buyer pool for those homes is smaller and many of theses buyers are Baby Boomers who are looking for a very specific product when they come here. They want smaller homes (less than 3,000 square feet) and yards that don’t require a lot of care.

At the end of the day, it’s a great time to sell and a great time to simply be cautious and look at all the numbers before you purchase. If you have questions about either of those issues – I can help.

And just because I think it’s fun…here are a few new property photos that I copied from the Central Oregon MLS recently. The lesson for today is twofold:  1) how to get that perfect shot without leaving your car or going outside and; 2) if you can’t sell the house perhaps you can sell the dog.  Back soon…

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