Activity falls as demand remains high

The coronavirus pandemic didn’t appear to adversely affect home sales in March in the Bend, Oregon, real estate market in the aggregate. Week-to-week data, however, indicates that COVID-19 did have an impact on the volume of activity.

There were 187 closed sales in March. For that month, that’s strong. It’s more than in any other March in our dataset except 2018, when 201 homes changed hands. And in March 2018, there were 386 active listings, whereas in March 2020, there were 230 – 40 percent fewer.

Additionally, there were 242 new homes on the market in March, the most this calendar year and more than in March 2019.

But each week in March, the number of homes new to the market and the number of sales decreased. That trend coincided with an overall lack of activity – of all types – in the wake of stay-at-home orders.

The 230 active listings represented the sixth consecutive month that listings in the Bend, Oregon, real estate market have declined. The 230 listings broke February’s record for the fewest active listings in any month, dating to the start of 2007.

That helps explain an inventory of 1.7 months (matching the lowest on record for any month and the lowest for any March) and an average days-on-market figure of 120 days (second-lowest for any March to 2019’s 106 days).

A dive into the inventory numbers is more revealing. For each price tier of $625,000 and less, the inventory was less than one month. Considering that six months is the common dividing line between a buyer’s and a seller’s market, we see that sellers attracted buyers in March.

The median sales price in March 2020 was $455,950. That’s 2.5 percent more than in March 2019 and 0.9 percent less than in February 2020.

From March’s 230 active listings came 187 sales. That produced a ratio of sales to active listings of 81 percent – 10 percentage points higher than the previous high for the Bend, Oregon, real estate market.

We are continuing to witness the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and the impact on the real estate market is difficult to project. Most important, we hope that you are safe and healthy and remain so. If your mind does turn to buying or selling real estate, I am confident I can be of assistance. My experience in the market – through all types of external events – and my knowledge of Bend are assets that I will bring to bear for you. I encourage you to contact me at (541) 362-1031 or to visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

Be well.

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