Home sellers in Bend and Deschutes County continued to see prices rise in September. The average price per square foot of homes sold last month was $134. That is up from a recent lows of $102/sqft in February of 2011 and $109/sqft earlier this year in March.
Surprisingly, there are relatively few sellers taking advantage of these improving prices. There are a couple reasons sellers may be still sitting on the sidelines. The first is price. At $134/sqft a 2000 sqft house would sell for $268,000 which is still well off the peak in October 2006 when that same house would have sold for $490,000. The second reason is people don’t want to move in the winter or over the holidays. In the last two weeks we have seen a number of homes withdrawn from MLS because the sellers would rather wait for better moving weather.
With better weather at least five months away and prices inching upward we could see the number of homes for sale this winter drop to lows that we haven’t seen since 2004. As I mentioned in last month’s sales post, we could see inventory drop below 1400 homes for sale by February. Will sales drop accordingly? At this point, it doesn’t appear they will.
One important indicator of where the market is headed is pending sales which are home sales contracts that have been signed but not yet closed. Nationally, pending home sales were up slightly in September compared to August and more than 14% above September 2011. That is the 17th consecutive month of year-over-year improvement which can also be seen here in Central Oregon despite year-over-year reductions in inventory for roughly the same period.
You can read more monthly sales reports: Bend Home Prices.
Real Estate Sales information courtesy of Central Oregon MLS