The fall season appears to be business as usual for real estate in Central Oregon
We continued to see a downward trend in real estate activity during October. Sales fell 10.5 percent in October to the same level of home sales in October 2012. Interestingly, the 396 homes sold last October was actually a 10.6 percent increase over September. While an increase in sales from September to October is fairly unusual (the last time it happened was October 2009) there were some external factors working against such an increase this year.
The government shutdown that affected far more than just real estate markets in October is fortunately behind us now but the debt ceiling “debate” could rear its ugly head again as soon as February 2014. The good news is that if October was any indication then the Central Oregon real estate market shouldn’t have too much to worry about.
The driver of much concern over the last 15 months has been inventory or the number of homes for sale. We have seen some improvement since the low point in February 2013 and are currently 17.4 percent above where we were this time last year. We expect to see the number of Bend homes for sale stay about 15 percent higher year-over-year through the winter months and are optimistic that the spring selling season will show even more improvement.
Home prices will likely be the primary driver if we do see marked improvement come spring. Prices have steadily risen over the last ten months to the current average price per square foot of $156 in Central Oregon. That is a 20 percent improvement over that period and if it continues, should be enough to bring more home sellers out of hiding.
*Sales data courtesy of Central Oregon MLS