The LaPine and Three Rivers South Real Estate Market

By
Real Estate Agent with Sunriver Realty

Yesterday we posted a market analysis for the "state of real estate in Sunriver".  Today, we are going to look at the outlying areas of Sunriver.  MLS identifies the entire area between Sunriver proper and LaPine as Three Rivers South.  Included in this area of Three Rivers South are the resort area of Caldera Springs, as well as the gated communities of Crosswater and Vandevert Ranch.  The real estate markets in these communities tend to trend similar to that of Sunriver.  We will analyze this area known as Three Rivers South, as well as the newest city in Oregon - LaPine. 

The areas of Three Rivers South and LaPine are very diverse.  You can run the range of unbuildable (RV lot only) to a multi-million dollar home with views - and be within shouting distance of one another.  Much of the value in properties in these areas is determined first by septic feasibility (a topic worthy of future blogging), next by size (of lot and home), views, condition of neighboring lots, etc.  For the most part, the values seem to run on the coattails of what is happening with the real estate market in Bend.  When Bend's market was white hot a few years ago, many buyers were getting priced out and sought refuge between Sunriver and LaPine.  Not only were homes more affordable, but buyers received more than a postage stamp lot to go with it. 

With the cooling of the Bend market (can you say a backlog of inventory of both new and existing construction?), buyers are less apt to venture the 20 - 30 miles away from their jobs in Bend.  Although a buyer might find a few more square feet of house and land for their money, the convenience of shopping and entertainment seems to carry more weight.

Here are some of the statistics:  For the period of October 2004 -05 Three Rivers South reported sales of 157 "stick built" homes for an average price of $351,000.  The average time on the market was 146 days.  By 2005-06 the time on market was reduced by three weeks to 124 days and the average price increased to $373,000.  But sales of homes fell slightly to 133.  The big chill showed up in 2006-07, with only 72 home sales.  There is some encouragement, however, with prices stable at $373,000 and the time on market being similar to that of two years ago, 142 days.  With 155 active listings, we have 40 weeks worth of inventory.  Time will tell how prices, sales and sellers' patience hold up.

LaPine's sales figures show a similar trend.  In the hot market of 2004-05  LaPine reported sales of 267 "stick built" homes at an average price of $173,500 with 136 days on the market.  In 2005-06, sales grew to 296 and prices increased to $213,000.  But in the past year, sales have fallen considerably to 138.  Prices have increased slightly to $241,000, a bit of a surprise all things considered.  And the sellers need plenty of patience as the average time on the market is currently 189 days.  And with 262 homes currently for sale, patience will certainly be a virtue.

Going into the fall and winter season, we don't see a big change in the current trending.  The snowy winter conditions can make it more challenging to get to some of the properties, and more difficult to appreciate.  But we like to be optimistic and are hoping that by spring Bend's market will be coming back to life, inspiring renewed interest in southern Deschutes County.  We'll see.

If you would like to contact us direct - please do so.  Also visit our website www.buylapine.com

Marcus & Connie Schwing

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