The affordability of housing in the Bend, Oregon, area has the attention of government leaders, local media and the general public. The rising price of homes and the scarcity of rental housing have produced what is regularly referred to as a housing crisis.
The lifestyle Bend offers is one source of the high demand for housing. It seems natural that people would want to live in an area where they can do “vacation” things – ski, fish, golf, ride or paddle – virtually year-round. And Bend’s attraction to visitors has its own side effects.
The tourism industry, which employs about 15 percent of Deschutes County’s private workforce, is characterized by relatively low-wage jobs that can make it difficult for employees to find housing.
A little more than a year ago, it was estimated that, in Deschutes County, 55 percent of renters and 39 percent of homeowners who have a mortgage were “cost-burdened” – meaning housing costs gobbled up more than 30 percent of their income. But low wages aren’t always the only impediment to affordable housing.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, the lure of working for tech behemoths such as Google and Facebook has been a driving force behind rising home prices. Even software engineers – who might make more than $175,000 a year – are being priced out of homes within a 20-minute commute of their workplace.
When the demand for a product with a limited supply is steadily increasing – whether from outdoors-oriented Central Oregonians or high-tech employees in the Bay Area – Econ 101 tells us that the cost of that product will rise.
In Bend, the other side of the supply-and-demand equation – the quantity of housing – appears to be on track to increasing. Bend’s plan to expand its supply of buildable land received state approval about a year ago, and with that approval comes land for 17,000 homes in the newly incorporated area.
Even with the expansion of the urban growth boundary, though, new homes haven’t been sprouting from the dust overnight. With the equivalent of 12 people a day moving to Bend, the thirst for housing will continue. But increasing the supply of land available for homes is a step toward increasingly the ability of residents to find an affordable place to live.
I have been a Realtor through all stages of real estate cycles, so I can leverage my experience on your behalf regardless of what the market is doing. Whether you’re looking to buy or considering selling your home, I will work to make the process as smooth and beneficial as possible. Please contact me at (541) 383-1426 or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.