Central Oregon real estate market in a period of transition

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Central Oregon is seeing a “more balanced real estate market.” Learn more here.

Central Oregon sellers may find that they’re not getting multiple offers within days of listing their homes for sale, but that doesn’t mean the market is turning in favor of buyers.

It does indicate, however, that a transition is building from a seller’s market to a more balanced real estate market for Central Oregon, said Donnie Montagner, owner of Beacon Appraisal Group in Redmond. Real estate professionals say that more homes are up for sale and taking longer to sell. When those two home-sales components change, it creates a more balanced market for buyers and sellers, Montagner said.

Prior to the pandemic, in 2020, a single-family home in Bend could sell within four to 75 days. That time period contracted in 2021 to four to 12 days, Montagner said.

By comparison, during the height of the Great Recession, which began in late 2007, a single-family home took anywhere from 76 days to 153 days to go from being listed for sale to having a final contract agreed to by both buyers and sellers, Montagner said.

In Bend, on average, single-family homes should take about 80 days to sell, he said. When homes take longer to sell, it swells the inventory. Typically a six-month supply of homes for sale is necessary for a stabilized real estate market, Montagner said. But in August, there was nearly a two-month supply of homes for sale.

“We have some ground to cover in terms of days on market,” Montagner said. “We have to increase the inventory. Until then, it’s favorable market to sellers to some degree.”

Home sales have definitely been affected by rising interest rates set by the Federal Reserve, said Tim Booher, SELCO Community Credit Union mortgage loan officer. Rates have been raised three times so far this year by the Fed as a way to slow down the economy and rein in record high inflation caused by the pandemic.

Looking ahead, interest rates will continue to rise, Booher said. But the housing market transition is also being affected by people returning to the office and that dissuades the out-of-the-area homebuyers from relocating to Central Oregon, he said.

It’s even affecting new housing markets. While sales are still occurring, some new-home builders have slowed the pace of building to adjust for fewer buyers.

“We’re still selling houses,” said George Hale, president of Woodhill Homes, which has several projects in Bend, Redmond and Sisters. “People still want to live in Central Oregon. There are things in place now that allow people to work from anywhere.”

In August, the median sales price of a single-family home in Bend was $717,000, down from the month before, but $82,000 higher than the same time period the year before, according to the Beacon Report.

But in Redmond, the median price of a single family home rose to $542,000 in August, from $505,000 in July. A year ago, the median sales price in Redmond was $450,000, according to the Beacon Report.

In Sisters, the median sales price of a single-family home was $730,000 in August, with about a 1.3-month supply of homes for sale, the same as in July, according to the report. That median sales price is more than $100,000 higher than July’s prices.

Sunriver continued to hover in the same range in August. The report posted a median sales price for a single-family home at $920,000, down just slightly from July, when the median sales price was $975,000 in Sunriver, according to the report.

And in La Pine, the median single-family home sales price remained basically the same in August — $473,000 — as in July. The supply of homes for sale remained the same, at three months, in August as in July, according to the report.

The Beacon Report uses the median sales price, which is the midpoint value of all transactions in a month.

“All in all these are normal corrections in the market,” Montagner said. “It’s still a seller’s market. People are cautious. And until we get consistent interest rates, there will remain caution from a buyer. And until the inventory swells, marketing time extends, it won’t become a buyer’s market. The market is in a transition.”

“Rising interest rates have slowed the market from what had been a record-setting pace over the last couple of years,” Booher said. “With higher interest rates, some first-time homebuyers and our lower-income members are being priced out of the market.”