Prices down month-over-month, up year-over-year

The median sales price of a home in Bend, Oregon, declined in February from the previous month but still registered a 4.9 percent year-over-year increase.

February’s median price was $430,000, 4.1 percent less than the $448,500 seen in January. History shows that a January-to-February decline isn’t unusual: It has happened in three of the last six years.

We have come to expect a year-over-year increase in February’s median sale price. Every February dating to 2012 (when prices were 16 percent higher than in February 2011), the second month of the calendar year has shown an increase. This February’s year-over-year rise is the lowest since the current trend began, though.

The inventory of homes for sale in February was 8.2 months. That means it would take that long for all of the homes on the market to be sold, based on the pace of sales that month.

Six months of inventory is commonly regarded as the dividing line between a buyer’s and a seller’s market. February marked the first time the Bend, Oregon, real estate market crossed into a “buyer’s market” since February 2014, when there was a 6.3-month inventory. February 2019’s inventory is the highest since March 2012, when there was a 13.7-month supply of homes for sale.

As I’ve mentioned time and time again, the overall inventory of the Bend, Oregon, real estate market overstates the pace of sales in the non-dream home price range. For every price tier from $725,000 on down, the inventory was less than five months.

The relative scarcity of new inventory on the market evidently is playing a role here. In February, there were 173 homes that were new to the market. That’s the fewest in a February since 2014. This year was also the first time since 2014 that February had a lower number of homes that were new to the market than January of the same year.

The raw number of sales slowed in February. The 108 homes sold are the fewest in a month since January 2014, when 96 sales closed.

We’ve seen sharper rises in new inventory in recent years between January and February, and we’ve often seen a greater number of price reductions in February over January. This February, pending sales remained consistent with those in January, when often they are greater. I think this can be attributed to the weather and overall fresh inventory, which is why it might not be until April that we can identify February’s data as something in a trend or an anomaly.

Other data indicate that competitively priced homes continue to move at a good pace. February’s average days on the market was 125 days. That’s the lowest for any February in the Skjersaa Group’s data set, which dates to the start of 2007.

And the average sales price to list price in February was 99 percent, up by 1 percentage point over each of the previous two months.

We can’t quantify exactly how the weather in late February affected the real estate market. Bend was essentially snowed in the final four days of the month, and it’s reasonable to conclude that this near paralysis affected the Bend, Oregon, real estate market. Those four days represent 20 percent of the business days in the month.

As the snow melts and roads lose their layers of slush, we’ll see over the next couple of months whether February’s sales experience was a temporary, possibly weather-influenced lull or part of a longer-lasting trend – or something else. Whichever, I can be of service to you in your real estate endeavors. I have a wealth of experience in the Bend, Oregon, real estate market, and my knowledge will help ensure you have a successful outcome. Whether you’re considering selling your home or you’re in the market for a new place to live, please contact me at (541) 383-1426 or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

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