May ended with 285 pending home sales in the Bend, Oregon, real estate market – the most in one month in nearly four years – as the reopening of the region from the coronavirus shutdown was reflected in more real estate activity.

The 285 pending sales at the end of May was more than twice the figure for that data point in the previous month. And 258 houses were new to the market in May, a high for this calendar year and much closer to the norm for a spring or summer month in the Bend market.

That increase in activity, moreover, will probably be more strongly felt in June and beyond. In May, for the third month in succession, homes sold declined from the previous month. May’s figure was 145 sales. That’s the fewest for any May in Bend since 2011, when the Great Recession’s housing-market tumble was reaching its depths and there were 144 homes sold.

The median sales price in May was $449,452. That’s 2.5 percent less than the previous month’s median and 3.6 percent less than in May 2019. The average ratio for sales price to list price fell to 98 percent in May, the first time this calendar year it has been less than 99 percent.

It seems reasonable to attribute these signs of the market’s consolidation to coronavirus byproducts that have taken time to take hold. Remember, from April to May, in the first handful of weeks after Oregon went into lockdown, the median sales price of a home in the Bend market actually increased.

Also, the list-price change data in May indicates a very healthy real estate environment. The net changes in list price values, taking into account all changes (positive and negative), was minus-3.0 percent in May. That’s the smallest decrease for any month since February 2017 – meaning that market-wide, prices held firmer than in any month since February 2017.

The inventory of homes for sales in May was 3.2 months. That’s the highest number this calendar year, but it’s still less than the six months that is generally used as the border between a buyer’s and a seller’s market. Moreover, looking at the inventory by price tier, it was 3.5 months or less for each tier of $725,000 or less. That indicates that for homes of interest to the bulk of the market, Bend remains a thriving market.

The rise in pending sales in May is only one sign that the effects of the coronavirus on the Bend, Oregon, real estate market are expected to be temporary. Mandy Weidman, vice president of the Central Oregon Builders Association, said she continues to receive interest in this year’s COBA Tour of Homes from residents of big cities outside Orego, and she thinks the virus will prompt people to look more closely at areas such as Bend to escape more dense environments. There’s plenty of evidence people still want to live in Bend.

That is probably going to remain true, regardless of the course of COVID-19. The desirability of this area and the region’s proven ability to serve as a hub for remote-based employees contribute to the vitality of the real estate market. If you’re thinking of selling your home or in the market, I am confident I can help. I encourage you to contact me at (541) 362-1031 or to visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.