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Some Bend Home Sellers Delay Listing Due to Snowmageddon

Bend, Oregon received just over two feet of snow in 48 hours on February 24th, not the most stellar news for the Bend Oregon Real Estate Market.  Cold temps and more flurries kept Bend streets covered in snow through the first two weeks in March.

One would think this would have a negative impact on the housing market.  To some degree it did, but not in the way that one might think.  Common sense suggests if it is hard getting around town that Buyers would take a break and wait for the snow to melt before shopping.  This is clearly the mindset sellers had in mind as many sellers put on the brakes and delayed listing their properties due to the snow.

Was this the right move?

If you’ve bought a home in the last 5 years, think back to your motivation at the time.  The market is incredibly competitive.  Houses often sell within a day o hitting the market. The pressure is on to view homes at the first moment of availability.  Is a little snow going to slow you down?  I think not.

Even with the lackluster Bend housing numbers reported for February, we saw strong buyer action during Snowmageddon, especially this past week.  So far this month 83 homes have gone into contract in Bend compared to the mere 57 homes that hit the market during this same period.

Normally we see close to a 1 to 1 ratio between new listings and homes pending.  In this case, those sellers that chose to list clearly benefited from a lack of competition and a hungry buyer pool eager to get in.

Don’t get me wrong, we should expect to see some loss in action due to the storm when we look at the March numbers.  Some demand lost by mother nature, and some lost by sellers holding back while eager buyers put on their boots and went shopping.

Mid March Surge

Three weeks into March it is clear that falling interest rates and low inventories created by the late February storm have brewed up the perfect storm for sellers.  The current median price of a home that went into contract between March 1st and March 25th is an astonishing $471,000.  This will most likely lead to a surge in the median sales price for a home in April/May.  To provide clarity on the current rate of competitiveness, there are only 70 (approx 35 resale and 40 new construction) 3 bed, 2 bath, 1500+ SF single family homes for sale below the February median sales price in Bend as of today. Since the beginning of the month 30 homes that meet this criteria have gone into contract.

Even at the high-end homes appear to be moving quickly.  15 single family homes over the 1 million plus price point have gone under contract since March 1st, and we still have 7 days left in the month.  Last March, the total number of homes pending at that price was 15.  Another sign that despite some hesitancy in the economy, Bend is shaping up for another roaring spring when it comes to housing.

Bend Housing Recap for February

The median sales price for a home in Bend Came in up 6.6% to last year to $432,000.  This was down considerably from the unusually high median sales price of $450,00 we saw in January.  That type of drop may seem scary, however it is much more in line with the trend we’ve been seeing the past 4 to 6 months, meaning January was probably just an anomaly.
Bend inventories are creeping up a bit higher than what we typically see this time of year.  Sellers, be prepared to adjust your expectations on how to competitively price their home, and on how long your home may be on the market. No, this does not mean it is a Buyer’s market.  Appreciation is still strong and inventories are not THAT high.  Buyers, do not expect to come in incredibly low on a property you really want.
With considerable snow in the forecast in the weeks leading up to the end of the month, it is quite possible that the drop in new listings compared to prior years was due to the expected storm.
Bend inventories are creeping up a bit higher than what we typically see this time of year.  Sellers, be prepared to adjust your expectations on how to competitively price their home, and on how long your home may be on the market. No, this does not mean it is a Buyer’s market.  Appreciation is still strong and inventories are not THAT high.  Buyers, do not expect to come in incredibly low on a property you really want.

Our expectations heading into late spring:

We are shaping up to have another lively spring in Central Oregon.  Buyers that get out there before April will reap the benefits of low rates that may not be there in the future.  As always, sellers that traditionally list early spring produce the strongest results. At this point the second half of the year is anyone’s guess.

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