Lets get straight to the million dollar question; "How is the Central Oregon real estate market doing?" Well, that is a good question and the answer is...it depends. It depends on whether you are looking to buy or sell and what part of Central Oregon you are referring to.
If you are looking to buy property in Central Oregon you are in luck. 2008 is one the best buyers markets we have seen in a very long time. Total sales volume and the total number of sales are down significantly across Central Oregon from the peak years of 2005/06. That is good news for buyers; inventories remain high and there is a great selection of homes for sale in all price categories. Inventory levels for Central Oregon as of June 6, 2008 range between 16 and 23 months depending on location. Add low interest rates to the mix and the fact that many sellers and developers are willing to negotiate and you have a great opportunity to find the right home at the right price.
The average sales price for homes across the region are also down significantly from 2006/07 peak levels and in many cases continue to fall. Through the first quarter of 2008 average sales prices were down an average of 10.26% compared to the first quarter of 2007. The exceptions are the Sunriver and Three Rivers South markets which recorded quarter over quarter price increases for the same time period. According to 2007 Multiple Listing Service data, Sunriver also had the highest Average Sales Price and the lowest Average Days on Market in Central Oregon for 2007. Unlike the Bend, Redmond and La Pine markets, Sunriver is a resort community and predominantly a second home market. The Three Rivers South market encompasses everything in between Sunriver and La Pine to the south.
Of course there is always a flip side to high inventory levels and falling prices. If you are looking to sell property in Central Oregon, these market conditions create more of a challenge. The average number of days it takes to sell a property has been steadily increasing over the last several years. For example, in Bend the average days on market has increased from 120 days in 2005 to 185 days in the first quarter of 2008. This trend is similar across all of Central Oregon. The most important thing to remember is to make sure your property is priced in accordance with the market.
Check out the latest market statistics at Central Oregon Association for realtors for the 1st quarter of 2008.
As always I am readily available to answer your real estate questions in Central Oregon.