Million-Dollar Market: How Have Central Oregon’s High-End Listings Fared This Year?

Back in the day (before the economic melt-down), the sale of million-dollar homes in Central Oregon was pretty common. In 2007, for example, Sisters, Redmond and Bend (including Tumalo) had 118 sales of $1 million or more. Bend, was by far, the most popular locale for million-dollar buyers: It alone accounted for 95 of those sales. In those days, a million dollars didn’t even buy you a home on Mirror Pond — one located two blocks away sold for $1 million in 2007. Meanwhile, $2,250,000 got you a new 3,600-square-foot home in the ultra-exclusive golf community of Pronghorn Estates. For $3.5 million, you could buy a 4,600-square-foot home on 38 acres in Tumalo (the seller of that property, by the way, got his asking price). Fast-forward to 2010 — the low point in our million-dollar sales activity. At that point, there were just 18 million-dollar sales in Bend, Redmond and Sisters. The next two years weren’t much better, with just 20 and 19 million-dollar sales, respectively. So here we are, eight months into 2013, and the million-dollar sales activity has definitely picked up. I got a hint of the change back in March, when one of my clients made an offer on a million-dollar property that wasn’t even on the market at the time. While finalizing terms with the seller, we were informed  that another buyer had submitted a higher offer. When was the last time there was a bidding war on a million-dollar property?! And on a property that wasn’t even listed? (My clients declined to play that game, moved on and purchased another property in Tumalo. But...

2013 COBA Tour of Homes: Who’s Who of Regional Design

It’s time once again for the COBA Tour of Homes. Held each year during the last two weekends in July, the tour (which the Central Oregon Builders Association introduced back in 1989) offers a peek at the handiwork of some of the finest builders in Central Oregon — folks like Pahlisch Homes, SolAire Homebuilders, Sun Forest Construction, Schumacher Construction, Woodhill Homes and Pacwest Homes, among others. Homes included in the tour run the gamut of price ranges, with everything from entry level to million-dollar options. This year, there’s also an interesting new entry in the sub-$100,000 market (a rarity in these parts!): an 800-square-foot, two-bedroom “kit” home priced at $97,500. Created by a new Hayden Homes offshoot, WiseSize Homes, the home (located at 376 35th St., in Redmond) was designed for off-the-grid living. The tour is an outstanding opportunity to check out some new design trends. So if you’re considering building a home in Central Oregon (and, these days, there’s plenty of that going on — building is up 30 percent since last year), you’ll definitely want to check it out. Like last year, there are a number of green-built homes on the tour, including a “net-zero” home (a structure that produces as much energy as it uses) at 2163 NW Lemhi Pass in Bend. Other interesting design features found on the tour: a custom “floating steel” staircase (at 61557 Hosmer Lake Dr., Bend), Frank Lloyd Wright influences (2157 NW Lolo Dr., and 2181 NW Lolo Dr.), a Pentaquartz countertop (at 2163 NW Lemhi Pass), hand-troweled plaster veneer (at 195-8 Todd Lake Ct., Bend) and an endless pool with...

Tumalo, Oregon Real Estate Market Report For January 2013

A few things stand out about the Tumalo Residential with Acreage (RW) real estate market in January. It isn’t surprising that the inventory is at an all-time low (only 34 Active RW listings) or that the sales have dipped below summer peaks (we expect a seasonal slow-down each winter). No, what’s perhaps most noteworthy involves pricing. In January, the least expensive RW property on the market in Tumalo was $284,900 – and that property was the only Active listing below $300,000. To put things into perspective, in January 2012, the least expensive Active RW listing in Tumalo was $99,900. What’s more, by the end of January 2013, there were only six other Active listings below $400,000. And, once again, one-third of the Active listings were priced above $1 million. Meanwhile, two of the three Closed RW sales in Tumalo were for properties listed above $500,000. The average days on market for those three listings: a whopping 521 days (glad to see those listings gone!). Most of the seven pending sales, on the other hand, were on the lower end of the price spectrum (for Tumalo, anyway), with an average list price of $350,236; they had a much more reasonable average of 132 days on the market.     As a horse-property specialist, Tumalo has always been of particular interest to me because that’s where you’ll find many of the most desirable horse properties in Central Oregon. Because its boundaries are up to interpretation, please consider the following statistics a general barometer of the area’s real estate activity that includes most, but not necessarily all, of the listings in Tumalo. Here...
Sisters, Oregon Real Estate Market Report For January 2013

Sisters, Oregon Real Estate Market Report For January 2013

January is typically a pretty busy sales month for Sisters real estate  –- there were 14 sales in January 2012, 18 in January 2011 and 11 in 2010. In January 2013, however, there were just seven Closed Residential sales in Sisters. That’s the same number as there were in January 2009, when Sisters was deep in the throes of the real estate downturn. There are a couple of key differences between now and then, though. First, there is significantly less existing inventory than in January 2009 –- almost 30 percent fewer Active listings. That means there are fewer options for potential buyers — especially at the lower end of the price spectrum. In fact, by the end of January 2013, there were only five Active Single Family Residential (SFR) listings below $200,000 and only four Active Residential With Acreage listings below $300,000. Another key difference between now and then: then number of Pending sales. By the end of January 2013, there were 21 Pending sales in Sisters. (By contrast, there were just four Pending sales by the end of January 2009.) That’s more Pending sales activity than we saw in a single month during all of 2012. Here are a few January highlights of the Sisters real estate market: LISTING ACTIVITY Active Residential Listings in Sisters:  106 (60 Single Family Residences; 46 Residential with Acreage) Contingent Residential Sales in Sisters:  2 (1 SFR, 1 RW) Pending Residential Sales in Sisters: 21 (13 SFR; 8 RW) Residential Sales in Sisters: 7 (4 SFR; 3 RW) Average Days on Market:     273 days for Active SFR listings 322 days for Active RW...
How’s the Market? I’m Glad You Asked.

How’s the Market? I’m Glad You Asked.

There’s one thing that just about everyone I talk to — even folks who aren’t even thinking about buying or selling a home — wants to know: “How’s the Market?” I realize the response most people want to hear is simply “It’s doin’ great!” Who has the time (or the interest, really?) to sit through a 10-minute dissertation on sales volume, price per square foot and days on market? Not most folks. Just cut to the chase, please! (And make it good news, if at all possible.) Okay then. How’s the market? Well, I’m pleased to report that, based on the 2012 year-end market statistics, which were recently released by MLSCO (the multiple listing service for Central Oregon), it’s doin’ great! Seriously. If you compare the numbers for 2012 to 2011, the standard response, as trite as it may be, is pretty accurate. The number of bank-owned properties and short sales are down in most markets. Overall inventory is way down. The number of sales are up in Bend, Sisters, Redmond, Three Rivers South, Sunriver and La Pine. The average sales amounts are up in Bend, Sisters, Redmond and Three Rivers South. The total sold volume is up in Bend, Sisters, Redmond, Three Rivers South, Sunriver and La Pine.  The days on market are down in Bend, Sisters, Redmond, Three Rivers South, Sunriver and La Pine. No questions, the market in Central Oregon is healthier than it was a year ago.   Now, for the Stat Geeks of the Group Of course, providing an answer that goes beyond the trite requires not only a bit more time, but a bit more thought, too. Central Oregon’s real estate market has changed so dramatically in the past eight years that every real answer I...
Today’s Broker Tour in Bend: Some Interesting Discoveries

Today’s Broker Tour in Bend: Some Interesting Discoveries

This morning, for the first time in quite a while, I attended Bend’s weekly Broker Tour (when agents with new listings hold open houses so local brokers can preview the homes). Until my recent move to Alpine Real Estate, my Tuesdays were often spent making the rounds of the Sisters Broker Tour, where we caravanned en masse to a handful of homes in the Sisters School District. Now, I’ll be dividing my time between the two tours, depending on which tour has more homes that suit my buyer needs. A lot of agents skip the tours — too busy, I’m often told. But I always find them worth my time. For example, this morning one of the longtime Bend brokers shared a few recent statistics with the group (which meets at the Central Oregon Association of Realtors headquarters): When it comes to Residential listings, the third quarter of 2012 was the best quarter since 2005 in terms of sales.  The average Residential sales price during that period was $292,000, compared to $455,000 for 2006 — which is great news for buyers, many of whom were priced out of Bend back in the mid-2000s. Another agent mentioned that the inventory is now the lowest it’s been since February 2006. Potential sellers, that’s great news for you, especially if you’re considering listing your home this winter, when the pickin’s will get even slimmer. Also, sales prices are up 14 percent since this time last year (also good news for sellers). There’s also something to be said for just seeing the properties. It helps me stay educated on the current inventory, beyond my...
Tumalo, Oregon Real Estate Market Report for October 2012

Tumalo, Oregon Real Estate Market Report for October 2012

After a few months of slower sales activity, the October Tumalo Residential with Acreage (RW) real estate market picked up steam again — with six Closed sales and eight Pending sales. Included in those sales are quite a few higher-priced properties. In fact, three of the six Closed sales and three of the eight Pending sales were above $400,000 (and included in the Pending sales is a million-dollar property). That’s an encouraging sign for Tumalo, since the bulk of its Active listings are above $400,000 (and 14 are over a million dollars). Last year, the number of Active RW listings reached into the mid-70s during the summer. This year, however, the number hovered in the mid-50s for much of the year (and never went above 58). With the arrival of October, that number dipped into the 40s (42, to be exact). That’s the lowest that the Tumalo inventory has dipped in any month this year. Actually, it’s the lowest it’s been in the past four years. By contrast, in October 2009, there were double that number of Active RW listings in Tumalo. As a result of the strong sales and dwindling listings, the overall inventory has once again reached the magic six-month mark (what is considered by many as the indicator of a balanced market, which equally favors buyers and sellers). However, given the high percentage of million-dollar listings, the so-called “balance” is misleading, since so many buyers are searching for lower-priced options. For them, there are significantly fewer options to choose from: Just eight Active listings are below $400,000. One other interesting bit of trivia: Although there are 10...
Sisters, Oregon Real Estate Market Report for October 2012

Sisters, Oregon Real Estate Market Report for October 2012

The October 2012 residential real estate market in Sisters was almost a carbon copy of last year at this time. Both months had a total of 136 Active listings, which was a sizable reduction in listings from the previous month (172 Active listings in September 2011 and 154 Active listings in September 2012). There were also double-digit Closed sales and double-digit Pending sales, and the days on market for Active listings was quite similar.  All in all, a very busy month. There is one key difference in the year-to-year comparison: price. The median sales price for Active Single Family Residential (SFR) listings in October 2012 was $399,500, compared to $449,000 for October 2011. Interestingly, although the median price of Active SFR listings decreased notably from October 2011 to October 2012, the median price of Active Residential With Acreage (RW) listings increased even more dramatically, from $524,900 in October 2012 to $699,000 in October 2012. Similarly, RW listings saw another month with a lot of activity on the higher end of the price spectrum. In fact, four of the eight Closed RW sales were above $400,000, and four of the six Pending RW sales were above $400,000. Included in the Closed sales was another million-dollar sale in Black Butte Ranch (the third one for 2012). As we head into winter, the already-low inventory –- which typically dips down to its lowest levels in the winter months — may prove to be an issue, unless sellers who typically opt to hold off until spring realize they have an ideal opportunity to attract winter buyers because of the lack of competition (especially in...