The inventory of homes for sale in Bend and Central Oregon continued to drop in October. This is not completely unexpected as sellers often take their homes off the market leading into the holidays or delay putting their homes on the market until Spring. The number of homes for sale in October was down 8.7 percent from September which isn’t dramatically different than the 9.6 percent drop in inventory last October. One interesting item last month is the number of homes sold in October (329) was virtually the same as the number of homes sold in September (330).
It appears that investors are a large part of the reason for sales remaining relatively strong. We have been fielding a number of calls from investors looking for property management of their recent purchases and our clients have been meeting more competition in making offers on homes. We had a client write offers on four homes in October before they finally had an offer accepted. Our client was making full price offers on homes in the $110,000 to $120,000 range and still getting out-bid. The offer that was finally accepted was only after the buyer that was in first position withdrew their offer.
Is this a sign that the market has turned the corner? Not yet. There is still too much uncertainty with the economy and so many homes that are delinquent and in foreclosure. Banks have had to put many foreclosures on hold over the past year because of questionable foreclosure practices. Now that lawmakers and regulators seem to have straightened things out we are seeing a rise in foreclosure filings. At least one estimate says that at the current rate of processing foreclosures in Oregon it will take four years to work through the backlog. This doesn’t even take into account the number of homeowners with negative equity who are hanging on but could be forced into foreclosure if they lose their jobs or decide it’s not worth fighting the good fight any more.
The moral of the story? Bend and Central Oregon continue to be a buyer’s market for real estate exceptional prices and interest rates once again below 4 percent. Whether you are an investor or not, now is a great time to buy.
You can read more monthly sales reports: Bend Home Prices.
Real Estate Sales information courtesy of Central Oregon MLS
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