Homes Sold are the keywords for our June 2013 Central Oregon sales report.
A quick look at the chart above will tell you that home sales in the last three months have been strong. Better, in fact, than the previous 12 months. What you can’t see on the chart is that it has been seven years since there were three consecutive months of more than 450 homes sold. In other words, the demand for homes in Bend and Central Oregon is stronger than it has been in seven years.
Inventory, on the other hand, still has room for improvement. Although it has been steadily increasing since hitting what we hope was the bottom in February, there were still fewer homes for sale last month than June 2012. Additionally, there were five months in 2012 (May – Sept.) where there were more homes for sale than the 1864 listings last month.
For the last six months an imbalance between demand and inventory has been driving home prices higher. The average price per square foot has risen from $125 in January to $151 in June. This is what we will be watching going forward and August is likely to be the month that sets the tone for the rest of the year. Historically, the number of homes for sale peaks each year in July. If that holds true again this year then demand will likely be the determining factor.
The wild card in all of this is bank owned homes. The Bend Bulletin reported last month that there were 536 foreclosure cases filed in Deschutes County Circuit court from January through May of this year. There were 537 cased filed in all of 2012. Surprisingly there are only 9 bank owned homes for sale in all of Deschutes County and there have only been 37 REO homes sold through July 17. There were 222 bank owned homes sold in 2012*. Those numbers point to a whole lot of shadow inventory.
Where those houses are in the the foreclosure process is anyone’s guess but they most definitely could have a dramatic affect on the real estate market in Bend, Oregon. Stay tuned….
* Sales data courtesy of Central Oregon MLS