When trying to formulate my thoughts on where I think the Bend, Oregon, real estate market is headed in 2022, I am reminded of a certain National Football League coach’s statement about the mindset of players:

“It’s better to have volunteers,” Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has said, “as opposed to hostages.”

Is there a better way to describe the source of the fierce demand for homes in Bend? People want to live here. Those who can live in Bend do so voluntarily; they’re not being forced to. As long as that statement remains true, it’s probably safe to assume that Bend’s housing market will continue to thrive.

I say this even after the remarkable run-up in median sales prices in recent months. The median price in November ($684,000) was 18.4 percent more than the median in January ($577,500). On a year-over-year basis, November 2021’s median price was 25.9 percent more than that figure in November 2020.

CoreLogic, a provider of data and analytics on the real estate industry, said nationwide, prices rose 18 percent  from October 2020 to October 2021 (the most recent month’s data that is available). Although Bend’s October-to-October increase (15.2 percent) was less than the national average, Bend attained a year-over-year increase of more than 20 percent in nine of 11 months through November 2021. (Note: The CoreLogic reports aren’t publicly available and cannot be linked from this blog.)

And it’s not just median price showing the demand for homes in Bend. The inventory, the average days on market, the sales price-to-list price ratio – all demonstrate the fierce demand for homes in Bend.

Looking ahead, CoreLogic forecasts a 2.5 percent increase in sales price from October 2021 to October 2022, even as it expects mortgage rates to increase about one-half of one percentage point, to about 3.4 percent. CoreLogic also forecasts moderating demand as housing becomes less affordable and additional inventory comes to market.

Anyone who remembers the housing crash earlier this century can understandably wonder whether we’re in another housing “bubble” – and if so, when it will pop. On an inflation-adjusted basis, CoreLogic concludes, what we’ve seen over the last 12 to 18 months differs from what occurred in the 2000s.

“While the current appreciation is an unprecedented event in terms of short-run appreciation,” CoreLogic says, “it is not the long, sustained growth that we saw in the 2000s bubble. … Although the current level of 1-year appreciation is higher than during the 2000s bubble, a longer view of that appreciation shows that it does not compare to the long, sustained increases in prices that were seen in the bubble.”

In other words, the level of appreciation during the COVID-19 pandemic appears to be an anomaly – a sharp upward spike from an already positively trending trajectory – rather than a harbinger of a crash.

Circling back to the volunteers-versus-hostages comment, you might have heard about a recent LinkedIn report on remote workers. The report found that Bend had the highest percentage of job seekers applying for remote work of any city in the United States. Clearly, people want to live and build their lives here.

I have been a Realtor through all conceivable market conditions – including, of course, a pandemic. I have a deep knowledge of Bend and augment my experience with an ethical approach to my profession. If you’re looking to buy a home, or if you’re a homeowner considering selling, I am confident I can be of help. I encourage you to contact me at (541) 362-1031 or to visit Bend Property Search to  connect with me through my website.

Thanks for reading, and happy 2022!