Affordable Housing Projects in the Works

Affordable Housing Projects in the Works

At last, an attempt to address Central Oregon’s critical need for affordable housing: According to the Bend Bulletin, Housing Works, the public housing authority for Central Oregon, plans to build 90 apartment and townhome units for low-income households (those at or below 60 percent of area median income) in Sisters and La Pine. As part of its new LIFT Program (Local Innovation and Fast Track), Oregon Housing and Community Services has allocated more than $3.6 million in state funding to underwrite construction of the two projects. The projects will also rely on 4 percent low-income housing tax credits from OHCS for their funding. According to the Bulletin, the total cost to build the two projects comes to about $14.5 million. In Sisters, the plan is to develop a 48-unit apartment complex called Village Meadows Apartments. Located on a 2.12-acre parcel behind Ray’s Food Place, it will include a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. The La Pine Townhouse project calls for 42 units located on a 2.5-acre parcel in the southwest part of town less than a mile from schools, shopping and other resources. Design and construction will fall to Home First Development, a Portland firm that specializes in affordable housing. Housing Works says it hopes to begin construction on both communities by the summer of 2017; build time is expected to be 12 months. About the Author Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional who specializes in listing and selling homes, especially in Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and...
What’s Bloomin’: 2017 Gardening Trends

What’s Bloomin’: 2017 Gardening Trends

    It’s 6 degrees outside, with about a foot of snow (and more on the way), so I can’t think of a better time to talk about spring.   In a stroke of good fortune, yesterday’s paper (which I’m reading this morning) features a wire story from the Newport News (Virginia) Daily Press detailing several gardening trends for 2017. Count me in. A few of the trends are pretty predictable -– healthy living with fewer chemicals; more organic foods; an increasing emphasis on folks growing their own food, especially among millennials. Then there’s indoor gardening (i.e, hydroponics and aquaponics), which has been on the rise for a few years –- and is now considered mainstream. One of the 2017 trends has already firmly taken root (so to speak) here in Central Oregon: Growing your own hops -– which, the article declares, “is a natural step for the beer enthusiast who wants to experiment with the freshest, most local ingredients possible.” Sounds like that reporter in Virginia is familiar with Bend. There is one trend, however, that, at first glance, seems pretty unlikely in Central Oregon, where a frost in July is not unheard-of: year-round gardening. Turns out, though, dramatic temperature shifts shouldn’t be a problem any longer: We now have “uber gardening”:  using subscription services to provide climate-appropriate seeds and foods. Apparently, it’s been around for awhile, but it’s news to me. And, according to Katie Dubow, creative director at the Garden Media Group, which tracks national gardening trends, “In the next two years, experts estimate people will carry an average of eight subscription services.” Since the article doesn’t elaborate...
Christmas Spirit: Holiday Event Calendar for Central Oregon

Christmas Spirit: Holiday Event Calendar for Central Oregon

Winter weather is here, snow is plentiful and the Christmas season is in full swing. If you’re feeling festive, check out the list of holiday events below -– there’s a wide variety of celebratory activities in Central Oregon between now and Christmas Day. Thru Dec. 18 Three Sisters Lions Club’s 6th annual fund-raising faire with creations from local vendors is open daily, 352 E. Hood Ave, Sisters. Hours: Mon-Fri 10-5, Sat 10-6 & Sun 11-4. (206) 850-5352. “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a live radio play: A small ensemble of actors bring dozens of characters to the stage to tell the classic story of George Bailey. 7:30 pm, Cascades Theatrical Company, 148 NW Greenwood Ave., Bend. Adults $20, Seniors $16, Students $13. (541) 389-0803.   Thru Dec. 23 Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides: As part of Starfest, wagon rides are offered every Fri & Sat at 4:30 pm, Eagle Crest Resort. $10 adults, $5 children 5 & up. Reservations required. (541) 923-2453.   Thru Dec. 31 Starfest: Everyone is welcome to take a complimentary self-guided tour of this mile-long animated holiday light exhibit adjacent to Eagle Crest Lodge along Falcon Crest Drive. 4-10 pm, Eagle Crest Resort, 1522 Cline Falls Rd. (541) 923-2453.   Thru Jan. 1 18th Annual Traditions Holiday Celebration: A winter celebration that harkens back to a time when generations embraced the season — and each other. More than 150 family activities, including sleigh rides, snow shoeing, elf tuck-ins, holiday movies, Santa’s Workshop (create your own handcrafted holiday keepsake) & Gingerbread Junction (gingerbread houses will be on display in the Abbot Room). Sunriver Resort, 17600 Center Dr, Sunriver. (541) 593-1000.   Wednesday, Dec. 14...
How the Current Market Compares to the Peak

How the Current Market Compares to the Peak

Because of the ongoing increase in home prices throughout Central Oregon for the past three years, more and more often, I hear grumblings that it sure seems as if we’ve returned to the crazy heyday of 2005-2007, when average sales prices were recalculated monthly (rather than every 12 months, as is typical) and listings were under contract within a matter of hours as opposed to days. If you’re curious about the actual numbers and how they compare, check out the chart below, which lists three categories of stats for the third-quarter 2016 alongside those of the peak –- and shows just how far most markets have to go before returning to those heady days. The most noteworthy thing about the chart: Of the three markets I regularly track (Bend, Sisters and Redmond), only Bend’s Single Family Residential segment is seeing an average sales price similar to that of the peak: $419,764 in third-quarter 2016 compared to $426,044 for 2005. Prices for Redmond’s Single Family Residential properties are getting close, with an average sales price within 7 percent of its peak price ($272,122 in third-quarter 2016 compared to $292,268 for 2006). Most other markets still have quite a ways to go before their average sales prices reach those previous high numbers. Meanwhile, a look at the number of sales during the two time periods shows that no market’s overall sales are anywhere near those of 2005-2007; in fact, every market has still at least 25 percent fewer sales than during its peak. Related Blog Post: Can’t get enough stats? Here are the market statistics for Central Oregon for the third...
3rd Quarter Market Statistics for Central Oregon

3rd Quarter Market Statistics for Central Oregon

Several trends worth note stand out among the third-quarter real estate statistics for Central Oregon, which were recently released by the Multiple Listing service for Central Oregon. For one, the average sales price for a single-family home in Bend has almost returned to that of the region’s pre-recession highs ($419,764 in third-quarter 2016 compared to $426,044 during 2007). Not surprisingly, as more and more people are priced out of Bend, the pace of sales among Bend’s Single Family Residential (SFR) listings has slowed: It increased just 3 percent since this time last year (from 1,872 sales to 1,934 sales), compared to an increase of 9 percent in third-quarter 2015. What’s more, the number of sales among Bend’s Residential With Acreage (RW) listings has actually decreased (down 7 percent, from 256 to 239 sales). Meanwhile, the number of sales within the smaller, less-pricey neighboring markets has increased fairly dramatically since third-quarter 2015. For example: The number of La Pine’s SFR sales is up 19 percent (from 48 to 59), and La Pine’s RW sales are up 23 percent (from 79 to 103). Sisters SFR sales are up 14 percent (from 95 to 111), and Three Rivers South SFR sales are up 12 percent (from 84 to 95). Sales of homes on acreage in Jefferson County were up 38 percent (from 35 to 52). (See several numbers-at-a-glance charts below that show aspects of the Bend, Sisters and Redmond markets for third-quarter 2016. And here’s a chart comparing third-quarter 2016 statistics to peak-market statistics.) Perhaps more telling is the dramatic increases among the area’s townhome/condo and multi-family markets. With inventory among single-family...
Bend Tops New Forbes List

Bend Tops New Forbes List

Bend has made it to the top of another “Best of” list. This time, it’s Forbes’ recently released “Best Small Places for Business and Careers.” The reasons cited by Forbes? Bend has “the fastest job growth of any metro in the country in 2015 at 6.6 percent.” Forbes also says Bend “has one of the highest high-school attainment rates” and is “a gateway for many outdoor sports such as mountain biking, fishing, camping, white water rafting and skiing.” Other numbers cited here worth note: an unemployment rate of just 4.7 percent and cost of living that’s 1.9 percent below the national average. However, the statistics featured actually encompass the Bend-Redmond metro area. To wit: It cites the population as 175,700 (Bend’s latest figure is 87,014 while Redmond’s is 28,654) and lists the median home price as $264,600. That’s more in line with the 2016 median price for a Redmond home; the median sales amount for a Single Family home in Bend for third-quarter 2016 is $359,900, according to statistics from the Multiple Listing Service of Central Oregon. Bend wasn’t the only Pacific Northwest locale to make the Top 10 on the list of 200 small American small towns (which Forbes defines as a population of 265,000 or less). Corvallis came in at No. 5, and Bellingham, Wash., is No. 10. Here’s a complete breakdown of the Forbes Top 10 list: Bend, Oregon Sioux Fall, South Dakota Logan, Utah Columbia, Missouri Corvallis, Oregon Ithica, New York Lafayette, Indiana College Station, Texas Iowa City, Iowa Bellingham, Washington About the Author Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional...
2nd Quarter 2016 Market Statistics for Central Oregon

2nd Quarter 2016 Market Statistics for Central Oregon

In the first quarter of 2016, we saw a bit of a slowdown from the tremendous gains of the previous two years. Back then, just about every market in Central Oregon saw an ongoing increase in the number of closed sales and average sales price -– with some markets seeing typically unheard of gains of of up to 30 to 40 percent. Folks were beginning to wonder if we were entering another bubble of exaggerated values. But now that the second quarter of 2016 has passed and we’ve seen another period of overall slow-down in the number of homes sold, it seems much more likely that we’re experiencing a leveling off from the frenzy. Keep in mind, we’re still seeing the numbers rise (especially when it comes to sales price) –- just not at such an accelerated rate. (See several numbers-at-a-glance charts below that detail aspects of the Bend, Sisters and Redmond markets.) According to statistics gathered by MLSCO (the Multiple Listing service for Central Oregon), the largest gains in the number of sales of homes during the second quarter were seen south of Bend –in Sunriver, which saw a 29 percent increase in sales of homes on less than an acre (up from 80 to 112), and La Pine, which saw a 21 percent increase in the number of sales of homes on less than an acre (up from 26 to 33). By contrast, Bend saw just a 3 percent increase in the number of sales of homes on less than an acre (up from 1142 to 1177 sales), while Redmond saw a 10 percent increase (from 383 to...
First Quarter 2016 Real Estate Market Statistics for Central Oregon

First Quarter 2016 Real Estate Market Statistics for Central Oregon

A survey of the first-quarter 2016 statistics for the Central Oregon real estate market showed a bit of a mixed bag. Folks expecting more of the same from the past several quarters — where almost every market saw healthy increases, both in the number of sales and in the average sales amount — might be in for a bit of a surprise. According to statistics gathered by MLSCO (the Multiple Listing service for Central Oregon), numerous markets saw a sizable increase in the number of sales compared to 1st quarter 2015. Bend saw a 12 percent increase in the number of sales of homes on less than an acre (up from 421 to 476 sales), while Redmond saw a 17 percent increase in the number of sales of homes on less than an acre (from 147 to 177 sales) and a 15 percent increase in the number of sales of homes on an acre or more (from 22 to 26). And sales were up 11 percent for homes in Sunriver on less than an acre (up from 34 to 38), while La Pine saw a 17 percent increase in sales of homes on an acre or more (up from 25 to 30) and a 10 percent increase in sales of homes on less than an acre (from 9 to 10). However, the number of sales was down in numerous markets during the first quarter. For example, the number of sales of homes in Bend on more than an acre decreased 9 percent (down from 71 to 65 sales), while the number of sales of homes on less than an...
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