Deschutes County saw sales of existing homes stay flat in February as illustrated in the chart above. The number of homes sold (269) was only two more than the revised number for January sales. This is not unusual as sales activity historically doesn’t start to pick up until March.
The number of homes for sale continued it’s downward track again in February. Inventory has fallen every month since July 2011 but the reduction in February was the smallest in five months. That trend should come to an end in March. With the Spring selling season kicking off this month I expect both inventory and sales to show improvement.
Don’t hold your breath for a dramatic turn around in the housing market this year. There is still so much uncertainty surrounding the economy and how banks will handle their inventory of foreclosed homes and delinquent borrowers. If banks can be successful in their efforts to help borrowers sell their homes short (for less than is owed) before they are forced to foreclose then we could see a nice little bump in prices. Short sales generally sell for a higher price than bank owned homes because the owner usually still occupies the home which means it is usually in decent condition and needs few if any repairs. Buyers are the other variable in the equation. Investors have been actively buying homes for months but the real drivers of a housing recovery will be those people who lost their homes to foreclosure in the last four years. When they are able to get financing again is when I expect that we will see real improvement in the housing market.
For now, this remains a great time to be a buyer. Don’t let amazing interest rates and low prices pass you by. Call us now.
You can read more monthly sales reports: Bend Home Prices.
Real Estate Sales information courtesy of Central Oregon MLS