Larger population, fewer sales = prices up

Even as Bend’s population grows, as Deschutes County experiences the highest net in-migration of any county in Oregon, the volume of real estate transactions in 2019 was fewer than in the year before. In what appears to be a classic supply-and-demand story, the price of homes in the Bend, Oregon, increased again in 2019 amid a decline in overall real estate activity.

2019 ended with a median sales price of $450,000. That figure is 5.58 percent more than the year-end 2018 median of $426,200.

The change in the 2019 median price was less than the change in 2018 (6.82 percent), but the figures from both years are of note from a long-term perspective. Beginning in 2012 – when housing market began to rebound – and continuing for the next six years, the average year-over-year increase in the median sales price in Bend was 13.25%. The year-over-year increases in 2018 and 2019 (those 6.82 percent and 5.58 percent figures) are the two lowest increases dating to 2012.

The data from the last two years might be a sign that the size of increases in the sales prices of homes is tapering slightly.

But there is no question that the market remains healthy and Bend stands out as a desirable place to live. As The (Bend) Bulletin newspaper reported, Deschutes County had the greatest net in-migration of any Oregon county in 2018. The inexorable increase in Bend’s population increases the demand for housing, yet fewer homes changed hands in 2019 than in the year before.

In 2019, 2,356 sales were closed. That’s 100 fewer homes than in 2018. It was the third consecutive year that the number of sales declined.

Even as the median price increased in 2019, homes sold at a faster rate than in any other year on record. The average days on the market in 2019 was 104 days – one day fewer than in 2018. From a figure of 117 days in 2014, the average days on the market has decreased each of the last six years.

These data points appear to be a supply-and-demand lesson in action: There are more people in Bend, fewer homes are changing hands, and those that do change hands help drive an increase in the overall market’s median price.

Looking at the Bend market’s quadrants (northwest, southwest, northeast and southeast), we see that the median sales price was up in all four. The biggest increase (8.55 percent) was in Southwest Bend, where the median passed the $500,000 threshold and ended at $534,950.

One year after having the largest year-over-year increase, Southeast Bend had the smallest (3.92 percent) in 2019 and finished with a median price of $403,000.

Northeast Bend had the lowest median price ($381,431) and the lowest average days on market (97).

No one can guarantee that the Bend, Oregon, real estate market will continue to appreciate. We probably can bank, though, on the continuing attraction of Bend as a place to live. That fact might be the best evidence of Bend being a healthy real estate market – on top of the impressive sales data we’ve compiled. If you’re thinking of selling your home, or if you’re in the market for a home, I am confident I can help you realize a successful real estate outcome. I encourage you to contact me at (541) 362-1031 or to visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

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