On May 20th in  1971 Marvin Gaye released his huge hit “What’s Going On under the Motown subsidiary Tamla label. Originally inspired by a police brutality incident witnessed by Renaldo “Obie” Benson, the song was composed by Benson, Al Cleveland and Gaye and produced by Gaye himself. The song marked Gaye’s departure from the Motown Sound towards more personal material. Later topping the Hot Soul Singles chart for five weeks and crossing over to number two on the Billboard Hot 100, it would sell over two million copies, becoming Gaye’s second-most successful Motown song to date.

Now that I have that out of the way…I thought I would talk about what’s going on in the Central Oregon real estate jungle. It has been way too long since I have posted, and I apologize for the hiatus. The business has kept me so busy that blogging had to take a back-seat for a bit. And this little critter (Marley) has also kept me very busy. Like looking for my other running shoe!


But…guard your inboxes!  I’m back. And here’s what’s going on:

First – we are still in a sellers market. Especially within Bend City Limits. We currently have just over 2 months worth of inventory. And the median price hit $396,000 this past March. That’s a number not seen since May of 2007 – a few months before the Bubble burst. The median fell to a low of $166,000 in November of 2011.  (Say it with me…”That’s when I should have bought!)

Next – Just because the market is “hot” in Bend doesn’t mean that many homes aren’t lingering on the market. The next logical question is:  “If we are in a sellers market, and inventory is so low, then why aren’t ALL homes flying off the market?”  Great question – and I’m glad you asked.  So let’s look at who is buying…

By far the largest buying group are retirees coming to Bend from whatever concrete jungle they are escaping from. They are selling homes that many of them bought back when I had hair – and they are selling them for a huge return on their original investment. So they know about Bend from vacationing here (or friends tell them about it) and here they come – with cash in their pockets.  The prices they see here are lower relative to where they are coming from.

These buyers want to be close to Bend (downtown…meaning the Tower Theater and restaurants) and not out on acreage or in a huge home in the hinterlands. These buyers aren’t buying vacation homes so Sunriver has less appeal. And they are selling larger homes and looking to downsize.  No acreage for these folks. Less lawn to mow…not more. They are empty-nesters and want to travel and some go to Arizona when the snow flies here.

So – this group is buying smaller homes (3,000 square-feet or less) as close to the downtown core as they can get. And they are certainly willing to pay the going rate for these new home purchases.

The next largest buying group are younger Millennials  who have good jobs and can afford the homes that are selling at $500Kor less. Lots of these buyers are also coming from out-of-state, having sold a home at a high price and able to buy for cash here or put a considerable amount down. Homes in this price range make up the largest portion of homes sold every month in Central Oregon. There are still some bidding wars taking place for homes at $450K and under.

What is taking the longest to sell?  Homes on acreage with irrigation and lots of equine additions. We just aren’t seeing a lot of 12-14 year old girls owning their own horses anymore. They are simply too busy texting. (just my opinion, ok??)  Homes in Prineville above $500K and acreage homes in Powell Butte and Redmond are in the same boat.

For the current buyers I am working with, close to town (Bend) and 2,800 square-feet or less and master bedroom on the main level is the winning ticket. And remember – there are exceptions to all of this. But when you get to the more expensive homes and homes on acreage – pricing correctly is everything. Unless you are selling in Northwest Crossing that is. But that’s a topic for another day.  Back soon.  (promise)



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