Central Oregon’s real estate market has been on a path toward recovery for at least the past year and a half. According to statistics gathered by MLSCO (the multiple listing service for Central Oregon), by the end of 2012, the number of Single Family Residential (SFR) sales in Bend was up 17.58 percent. By the end of 2013, SFR sales in Bend were up another 14.24 percent.
In Sisters, SFR sales were up 3.16 percent by the end of 2012 and up an impressive 20.41 percent by the end of 2013.
Back in 2012, Sunriver actually saw the biggest gain in SFR sales: They were up 45.92 percent. At the end of 2013, Sunriver was still improving, but at a much more modest rate (3.5 percent).
Meanwhile, Redmond’s gains have taken longer to arrive: At the end of 2012, SFR sales were down 1.83 percent, but by the end of 2013, they were up 2.02 percent.
Now onto the latest numbers…
Which brings us to 2014. A quick perusal of the 1st-quarter statistics shows continued improvement in many –- but not all — areas. (For the numbers-minded readers, you might want to skip to the bottom of this article, where you’ll find a series of charts detailing the key categories).
This quarter, it was Jefferson County that saw the strongest gains in Single Family Residential sales: Sales were up 92 percent (from 13 sales in the first quarter of 2013 to 25 sales in the first quarter of 2014). The number of SFR sales was also up significantly in Three Rivers South (50 percent, from 10 to 15 sales).
Most other markets in Central Oregon saw more modest gains (if any) in the number of SFR sales: Redmond had a 13.27 percent increase (from 113 to 128 sales), and Bend saw a slight increase of 2.35 percent (from 383 to 392 sales). Sunriver was down slightly (4.76 percent, from 21 to 20 sales), while several markets saw more sizable decreases in the number of SFR sales, including Sisters (down 22.22 percent, from 27 to 21 sales) and La Pine (down 36.36 percent, from 11 to seven sales).
Similarly, the number of sales of Residential With Acreage (RW) listings increased in a few markets: Redmond’s RW sales were up 20 percent, from 15 to 18 sales; and Three Rivers South was up 40 percent, from five to seven sales. However, the number of RW sales was down notably in several markets, including Bend (down 33.33 percent, from 66 to 44 sales); Sisters (down 50 percent, from 18 to nine sales); and La Pine (down 41.67 percent, from 24 to 14 sales).
Those decreases can in part be explained by the lack of inventory available for would-be buyers (especially those in the lower price brackets). Bend, for example, had a 2.7-month supply of Active SFR listings and a 5.5-month supply of Active RW listings by the end of March.
When it came to the average sales amount for SFR listings, every market except Sisters saw an increase: Bend was up 8.68 percent, from $292,130 to $317,491. Redmond was up 13.81 percent, from $176,361 to $200,718. Sunriver was up 9.89 percent, from $392,841 to $431,688. And La Pine was up 24.10 percent, from $126,455 to $156,929. Sisters was down 2.78 percent, from $277,684 to $269,960.
We also saw an across-the-board increase in the average sales amount for Residential With Acreage listings, with some pretty dramatic leaps: The average sales amount for Sisters RW listings was up 76.79 percent (from $414,182 to $732,222), and Three Rivers South was up 125.17 percent (from $290,200 to $653,429). Bend was up 27.56 percent (from $432,616 to $551,841), while Redmond was up 3 percent (from $360,700 to $371,511).
Another area of fairly consistent improvement for the first quarter of 2014 was the average number of days that properties were on the market. Almost every region (except Sunriver and La Pine) saw the number of days on market (DOM) decrease among SFR listings — some modestly (Bend was down .79 percent, to 126 DOM) and others rather dramatically (Sisters down 33.18 percent, to 145 DOM).
Similarly, the average days on market for RW listings decreased in every market, except Sisters (where the DOM increased by 8.24 percent, to 276 DOM). Bend improved notably on that front, with the average days on market down 22.12 percent, to 162 DOM. Redmond’s RW market saw a decrease of 39.19 percent, to 166 DOM, and La Pine saw a decrease of 34.82 percent, to 166 DOM.
Bargain hunting has been an ongoing challenge since two recently enacted state laws attempted to address the foreclosure process in Oregon. Not surprisingly, as a result, the number of distressed properties on the market continues to dwindle. In fact, in many markets (such as Sisters, Sunriver, Three Rivers South and La Pine), the bank-owned and short sale inventory was all but non-existent during the first quarter of 2014.
About the Charts
For those who want to study the market by the numbers, the charts below detail the past five years’ activity of Bend, Sisters and Redmond (my primary coverage areas). I often represent buyers purchasing rural acreage — especially horse properties — so I regularly track both Single Family Residential (SFR) trends and Residential with Acreage (RW) trends.
In the charts, I focused on three of the main categories that reflect the state of the market: (1.) total number of homes sold; (2) Average sales amount; and (3.) Days on market. Checking out these charts will give you a quick overview of what’s been happening in the market.
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 Redmond.