Inventory keeps falling, falling, and falling some more.
The recurring theme in my posts about real estate sales this year has been a lack of inventory. The number of homes for sale in Bend and Central Oregon continues to drop to levels not seen in years. In fact, the records I have access go back to April 2004 and in those eight and a half years we haven’t seen fewer than 1675 homes for sale (February 2012). Until now.
In September I suggested that inventory could drop as low as 1390 in February 2013. February traditionally has the least amount of sales activity each year but now I am wondering how much lower that number could go.
The winners in this low inventory scenario are sellers and builders. Sellers are still mostly sitting on the sidelines for whatever reason but builders aren’t wasting any time getting back in the game. A quick search of Central Oregon MLS reveals there are 110 new homes for sale ranging from $159,000 to this amazing 11,000 square foot home for $5 million. That is 7.7% of all homes for sale in Deschutes County. If it wasn’t for new construction who knows where prices would be right now?
As they sit, prices seem to be holding fairly steady. The average price per square foot for homes sold in Bend during December was $140. Prices have been in the range of $131 to $141 since May of this year when they shot up almost 7% in one month. Only time will tell but if we don’t see inventory start to rise by March when buyers historically begin to become more active then we could see prices climb to $150 or $160 per square foot.
You can read more monthly sales reports: Bend Home Prices.
Real Estate Sales information courtesy of Central Oregon MLS