Median sales price falls for second month in a row. What happened last time that occurred?

The housing market in Bend, Oregon, tapered slightly in May, as the median sales price fell for the second month in succession and the inventory of homes on the market rose compared with April. Still, the year-to-date median price remained steady at a price that represents a high for the 10-plus years for which we have data.

May’s median sales price was $379,000. That’s 4.1 percent lower than March’s median sales price of $395,000 and 2.8 percent lower than April’s median of $389,950.

If recent history is any indication, this dip could eventually turn into a trampoline. The last time monthly median sales prices declined in consecutive months was in 2016 (when they fell for three months in a row, in fact). That stretch of monthly declines after the median price reached $374,000 in May ended emphatically with a 7.5 percent month-over-month increase from August to September to $385,750 – the calendar-year high for 2016.

Two hundred seventeen homes were sold in May, four fewer than in April. The number of houses whose priced was reduced was 107 — 32 percent. The last time the percentage of active listings with a reduced price was that high was in the three-month stretch in 2016 when the monthly median sales figure dropped. (See the previous paragraph for what happened after that three-month stretch.)

Year over year, May’s median sales price showed a 1.3 percent increase from the corresponding month in 2016. That is the smallest year-over-year increase in a monthly median sales figure since January 2016. That month, the median sales price of $317,450 was 3.7 percent lower than in January 2015.

The 2017 year-to-date median price stayed at $380,000 after taking into account May’s sales. That remains the highest year-to-date median price on record. In fact, each month of 2017 has reset or tied the record for the highest year-to-date median sales price.

High-end homes a big part of inventory

The inventory of homes rose to 3.1 months in May. Inventory — expressed as the time that would be required to sell all homes on the market given the current pace of activity — was 1.7 months in May 2016.

May 2017’s inventory is skewed, however, toward higher-priced homes. Of May’s 337 active listings, 33 percent were priced at more than $725,000 (that percentage was 25 percent in March and 31 percent in April). For homes priced from $225,100 to $625,000, the inventory is in the range of two months. And two months of inventory falls well on the side of being a “seller’s market.”

Tied to the inventory is the volume of homes on the market. Each month this year, the active listings have been the fewest for those respective months in the 10-plus years for which the Skjersaa Group has data. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the quantity of homes priced at $725,000 and less is particularly tight.

Late spring and summer traditionally are the most active months for real estate, and if you’re looking to buy a home or considering putting yours on the market, I can be of help. In my time as a Realtor, I have helped clients achieve their desired results regardless of the time of year and the trend of the market. To learn more about how I can assist you in your real estate transaction, contact me at (541) 383-1426, or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

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Selling a home during the holidays has its advantages

We all have a lot on our plates this time of year. That reality can make the prospect of trying to sell a home appear daunting.

Who would put their home on the market now, just after Thanksgiving and a little before Christmas? Well, as counterintuitive as it might seem, selling a home during the holiday season can have its advantages.

You can be confident that anyone wanting to look at your home during the holidays is a motivated buyer. That reduces your workload. That should mean fewer instances you have to instantaneously make your home look so spotless it’s as if no one lives in it and then vanish for an hour or so. Prospective buyers could be facing a hard deadline, meaning they will want to complete a deal in good order. Tradespeople and professionals involved in the deal (home inspectors, appraisers, licensed repairmen) might be less busy and more able to take care of what’s needed to get the deal done.

Generally speaking, a home entering the market at this time of year has less competition for a prospective buyer’s attention but has a relatively greater chance of being sold. For each of the last seven calendar years in the Bend market (2009 through 2015), the two months with the fewest new listings have been November and December. But for sales as a percentage of active listings, December was the fourth-best month last year, the third-best month in 2014 and the second-best month in 2012.

Where we live, the holidays might not be the “down” time of year that it can be elsewhere. Every region of the country has its own pace and traditions, and every area has its times of year when trying to capture the attention of people — such as home buyers — is a challenge. In some places, a Saturday or a Sunday in the fall could be a poor time to try to sell a house if the locals are fervent football fans.

Remember, too, that buyers are doing their research on their own, on their own time, via online searches, rather than driving around neighborhoods. The Internet knows no seasons. If your house is appealing to a prospective buyer, that will be evident regardless of the time of year, the weather or road conditions.

Whatever time of year it is, I can help you get the best deal when it comes time to sell your home. Or, if you’re a prospective buyer, my knowledge of the Bend market will help assure you get an optimal deal. To get started with listing your Bend home or to view area homes, contact me at (541) 383-1426, or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

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Jason Boone | Principal Broker, CRIS | Duke Warner Realty | Skjersaa Group
Oregon Real Estate Licensee | 1033 NW Newport Ave Bend, Oregon