Home prices in Bend rise as inventory falls

The real estate market in Bend showed signs of continued resilience in June, with prices trending upwards and inventory tightening, despite wider economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The median price of a single family residence in Bend reached $464,000 in June, compared to $445,000 a year ago, a 4.27% increase, according to a report released by Beacon Appraisal Group LLC. Most sales occurred in the $350,000 to $400,000 range.

Home sales are also speeding up. Homes in Bend were on the market in June for an average of just 21 days, compared to 53 days in the same period a year ago.

While prices inched higher, home sales dipped slightly compared to a year ago. Last month, 224 homes sold in Bend and 90 sold in Redmond. A year ago 236 homes sold in Bend and 107 homes sold in Redmond.

Low-interest rates are helping buyers get into the market while the low inventory is making for a competitive marketplace, said Brian Fairbanks, principal managing broker of Coldwell Banker Bain in Bend.

“You have a perfect storm for prices to rise,” said Fairbanks.

Inventory of homes is almost 50% less than this time a year ago, said Fairbanks, and he is seeing increasing numbers of buyers appear from bigger cities, wanting to make a home in rural areas of Oregon. Current homes under contract are higher now than they were a year ago, he said.

“It’s a trend I believe will continue,” said Fairbanks.

Bend has about 2.8 months of residential inventory, said Fairbanks. Around six months of inventory is needed for a balanced market, he said. When inventory is less than six months, prices will rise and when it’s more than six months prices will fall.

Why the low inventory? Fairbanks said there is not enough new construction to meet demand. Those who want to move may not be able to find a replacement home, said Fairbanks, causing them to sit on their existing property.

“Many would-be sellers are choosing to remodel their existing home because of this,” he said.

Among Bend’s surrounding areas, Sunriver had the highest median price at $512,000. Median prices in La Pine were also robust, climbing to $300,000 in the second quarter of 2020, compared to $255,000 in the same period a year ago, an increase of 17.6%.

There is more modest growth in Redmond, which had a median home price of $332,000 last month compared to $330,000 in the same period a year ago.

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