Bend home sales drop to late-2007 level

  • In this Jan. 4, photo a sign is displayed outside a house for sale in Pittsburgh’s Lawrenceville neighborhood. A pullback in mortgage rates has helped boost homebuilder stocks this year after a dismal 2018, when the U.S. housing market slowed under the weight of higher borrowing costs, rising prices and a thin supply of homes for sale. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

February is historically slow month for home sales

Single-family home sales in the Bend area dropped to a level in February not seen since late 2007, according to the latest report from Beacon Appraisal Group in Redmond.

There were 106 transactions last month, down 34.5 percent from 162 in February 2018. Sales volume was also down from January’s total of 125.

Total sales volume in Bend dropped below 100 transactions per month in late 2007 and stayed below that level through the end of 2008, Beacon Appraisal Group owner Donnie Montagner said.

February typically falls in the trough of the seasonal selling cycle, so it’s hard to tell whether the market will bounce back from its recent low, or whether it represents a long-term transition, Montagner said. He’s not sure whether the historic snowstorm that hit Feb. 24 could have made a seasonal low more severe than usual. There were four business days left in the month when the storm hit, he said.

Redmond home sales appear unaffected by the snowstorm. There were 47 single-family homes sold last month, on par with February 2018, which had 51 closings, according to the Beacon Report.

The two markets also diverged on price. The median sale price in Bend fell from $450,000 in January to $427,000, a 5 percent decline. That was the largest one-month drop in the past 16 months. February’s median sale price was still about 4 percent higher than the prior year.

In Redmond, the median sale price reached a new high, $314,000, up 2.9 percent from $305,000 in January and 10 percent from $285,000 in February 2018.

“People are making the choice to go up to Redmond,” said Brent Landels, a partner in Cascadia Group at Remax Key Properties. “There’s a lot of frustration with how expensive it is to live in Bend.”

The trend has been building over the past year. Total sales volume in Bend was essentially flat from 2017 to 2018 with 2,419 transactions, according to the Beacon Report.

Redmond saw its sales volume rise 9 percent over the same period, from 860 closings in 2017 to 939 transactions in 2018.

Many real estate agents in Bend complained that last year was slower, Landels said. That was probably because the number of deals stayed the same while many more licensed brokers have jumped into the market since the recession, he said.

So far, 2019’s deal statistics are backing up the complaints. In January and February combined, there were 231 single-family homes sold in the Bend area. That total is down 24 percent from the first two months of 2018, which had 304 transactions.

— Reporter: 541-617-7860,

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