Bend Oregon Real Estate Blog

Bend Oregon Real Estate - Market Trends and News

We provide you with Bend and Central Oregon real estate updates as well as general information on Bend and other towns in Central Oregon.

July 27, 2014

Market Update

Current Real Estate Trends

The Bend Oregon real estate market has bounced back with a vengeance.  We are definitely in a seller's market.  If a home is listed close to market value it will sell quickly.  Supply of homes for sale is limited as compared to the demand for homes.  Homes priced correctly are receiving multiple offers.

New Construction is booming and many homes are selling prior to completion.   As previously mentioned, pricing is the key.  I just sold a sale on River' Edge Golf Course.  We had listed the home at $449,000 which we knew was high but we wanted to "test" the market.  We had two showings but no offers the first week. 

As listing broker I provide my sellers with the number of hits on the Multiple Listing web site that each listing receives.  One is for the number of brokers and the other is the number of potential buyers.  We had around 150 buyer hits and just over 100 Broker hits at $449,000. 

I also provide my sellers with feed back from the brokers that show my listings.  One broker said the home was over priced and dated.  The other broker just said his buyers just were not interested period. 

So the data provided showed us that there were numerous buyers and Brokers who had seen the property and the virtual tour I provide my clients but they were not entering the home.  Our price was obviously too high so we lowered it $20,000 to $429,000 and I reset the counter for internet hits to zero.

We had over 200 buyer hits and 145 broker hits.  We had three showings that weekend, two offers and more Brokers wanting to show it the next week.  We sold it for the full price of $429,000.

It seems most buyers don't want to offer less than 5% below the list price.  So the moral of story is:

Buyers - don't be afraid to make an offer.  You never know what a seller will take.  If I am representing a buyer I will contact the listing broker prior to writing an offer to see what the seller's motivation is. 

Sellers-Don't wait for someone to make an offer if you are getting good internet activity but limited showings and no offers.  A home in Bend that is priced right will sell quickly.

If you would like to see all homes currently for sale in the Bend Oregon Multiple Listing Service go to Bend Oregon Real Estate.

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May 23, 2014

Solar Homes

Solar Homes in Bend

More and more buyers of Bend Oregon real estate are looking to buy homes that are built to take advantage of solar gain.  Sunshine is a free source of heat in Central Oregon. 

There are two types of solar homes, passive and active.  Passive solar homes don't have solar panels to generate electricity or hot water.  Active systems can be expensive depending on how much the government is willing to give credits to the owner installing solar equipment. 

For more information on passive solar home go to Bend Oregon Solar Homes.

Feel free to contact me for more information of building green/solar homes in Bend.

 

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March 24, 2014

Real Estate Prices Up - Affordability Down

Most metropolitan areas continued to experience strong year-over-year price growth in the fourth quarter, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors®. A companion metro area annual affordability report shows less favorable conditions, particularly in the West.

The median existing single-family home price increased in 73 percent of measured markets, with 119 out of 164 metropolitan statistical areas showing gains based on closings in the fourth quarter compared with the fourth quarter of 2012. Forty-two areas, 26 percent, had double-digit increases, two were unchanged and 43 recorded lower median prices.

There were fewer rising markets than seen in the third quarter, when price increases were recorded in 88 percent of metro areas from a year earlier, with 33 percent rising at double-digit rates, reflecting a slowdown in price growth.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said there are two ways of looking at the price gains. “The vast majority of homeowners have seen significant gains in equity over the past two years, which is helping the economy through increased consumer spending,” he said. “At the same time, home prices have been rising faster than incomes, while mortgage interest rates are above the record lows of a year ago. This is beginning to hamper housing affordability.”

The five most expensive housing markets in the fourth quarter were the San Jose, Calif., metro area, where the median existing single-family price was $775,000; San Francisco, $682,400; Honolulu, $670,800; Anaheim-Santa Ana, Calif., $666,300; and San Diego, where the median price was $476,800.

The five lowest-cost metro areas were Toledo, Ohio, with a median single-family price of $80,500; Rockford, Ill., $81,400; Cumberland, Md., at $89,500; Elmira, N.Y., $99,500; and South Bend, Ind., with a median price of $101,100.

The national median existing single-family home price was $196,900 in the fourth quarter, up 10.1 percent from $178,900 in the fourth quarter of 2012. In the third quarter the median price rose 12.5 percent from a year earlier.

The median price is where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less. Distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales generally sold at discount – accounted for 14 percent of fourth quarter sales, down from 24 percent a year ago.

Yun said that tight supplies in many areas accounted for double-digit price growth. At the end of the fourth quarter there were 1.86 million existing homes available for sale, slightly above the fourth quarter of 2012, when 1.83 million homes were on the market. The average supply during the quarter was 4.9 months; it was 4.8 months in the fourth quarter of 2012. A supply of 6.0 to 6.5 months represents a rough balance between buyers and sellers.

Yun added, “New home construction activity needs to increase significantly in the fast appreciating markets to help relieve upward price pressure.” In 2013, housing starts totaled 924,000, well below the historic average of 1.5 million units that typically are needed.

“Added housing supply will help moderate price growth this year, and should help to stem erosion in affordability, but mortgage interest rates are projected to rise above 5 percent by the end of the year,” Yun said.

Total existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, fell 7.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.94 million in the fourth quarter from 5.36 million in the third quarter, but were 0.8 percent above the 4.90 million level during the fourth quarter of 2012.

According to Freddie Mac, the national commitment rate on a 30-year conventional fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.30 percent in the fourth quarter, down from 4.44 percent in the third quarter; it was a record low 3.36 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012, with records dating back to 1971.

NAR’s national annual Housing Affordability Index, with breakouts for metropolitan areas, fell to 175.8 in 2013 from a record high 196.5 in 2012. For first-time buyers making small down payments, the affordability levels are relatively lower. The index is calculated on the relationship between median home price, median family income and average effective mortgage interest rate. The higher the index, the stronger household purchasing power; record keeping began in 1970.

An index of 100 is defined as the point where a median-income household has exactly enough income to qualify for the purchase of a median-priced existing single-family home, assuming a 20 percent down payment and 25 percent of gross income devoted to mortgage principal and interest payments.

Metro areas with the greatest housing affordability conditions in 2013 include Toledo, Ohio, with an index of 395.4; Rockford, Ill., at 374.5; Decatur, Ill., 343.7; Lansing-East Lansing, Mich., 331.4; and Springfield, Ill., at 327.8.

In the condo sector, metro area condominium and cooperative prices – covering changes in 55 metro areas – showed the national median existing-condo price was $197,200 in the fourth quarter, up 10.7 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012. Forty-four metros showed increases in their median condo price from a year ago, one was unchanged and 10 areas had declines.

Regionally, total existing-home sales in the Northeast declined 7.1 percent in the fourth quarter, but are 7.1 percent above the fourth quarter of 2012. The median existing single-family home price in the Northeast was $241,000 in the fourth quarter, up 5.5 percent from a year ago.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales fell 9.1 percent in the fourth quarter, but are 2.0 percent higher than a year ago. The median existing single-family home price in the Midwest increased 7.0 percent to $152,400 in the fourth quarter from the same quarter a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the South declined 4.4 percent in the fourth quarter, but are 3.6 percent above the fourth quarter of 2012. The median existing single-family home price in the South was $173,000 in the fourth quarter, up 8.3 percent from a year earlier.

In the West, existing-home sales dropped 12.7 percent in the fourth quarter, and are 8.1 percent below a year ago. With notable inventory restrictions, the median existing single-family home price in the West jumped 15.5 percent to $286,200 in the fourth quarter from the fourth quarter of 2012.

Bend Oregon Real Estate is still a great buy.  To search all homes in Bend Oregon click here.  Bend Oregon MLS Search

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March 22, 2014

Pending Home Sales Drop 12/13

Bend Oregon real estate sales (Pending) dropped slightly in December 2013.  Nationally, Pending home sales measurably dropped in December, with abnormal weather partly inhibiting home shopping in much of the U.S., according to the National Association of Realtors. Declines were experienced in all four major regions.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, fell 8.7 percent to 92.4 in December from a downwardly revised 101.2 in November, and is 8.8 percent below December 2012 when it was 101.3. The data reflect contracts but not closings, and are at the lowest level since October 2011, when the index was 92.2.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said several factors are working against buyers. “Unusually disruptive weather across large stretches of the country in December forced people indoors and prevented some buyers from looking at homes or making offers,” he said. “Home prices rising faster than income is also giving pause to some potential buyers, while at the same time a lack of inventory means insufficient choice. Although it could take several months for us to get a clearer read on market momentum, job growth and pent-up demand are positive factors.”

The Pending Homes Sales Index in the Northeast dropped 10.3 percent to 74.1 in December, and is 5.5 percent below a year ago. In the Midwest the index declined 6.8 percent to 93.6 in December, and is 6.9 percent lower than December 2012. Pending home sales in the South fell 8.8 percent to an index of 104.9 in December, and are 6.9 percent below a year ago. The index in the West, which is most impacted by constrained inventory, dropped 9.8 percent in December to 85.7, and is 16.0 percent below December 2012.

Total existing-home sales this year should hold close to 5.1 million, essentially the same as 2013, but inventory remains limited in much of the country. The national median existing-home price is projected to rise about 5.4 percent in 2014.

Home sales in the Bend Oregon Real Estate Market remain strong and the outlook is for increased prices to continue.

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Oct. 11, 2013

Bend Home Prices Reach Five Year High

The Bend Bulletin reported today that home prices in Bend rose in September to its highest level in five years.  The median price of a single family home in Bend rose to $298,000.  That's up from $265,000 in August.  The median price has not been above $300,000 since June 2008 which was 4 months before the start of the Great Recession. 

It looks like the Bend market has made a good come back even though activity is starting to slow.  New home sales are picking up as prices have risen enough to make spec home sales profitable for builders once again.

Bend Oregon Real Estate Search

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Oct. 1, 2013

Pending Home Sales Slowing - August 2013

After a busy summer in Bend Oregon real estate sales, the market is slowing.  Nationally, pending home sales slowed in August, with tight inventory conditions, higher interest rates, rising home prices and continuing restrictive mortgage credit impacting the market, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, eased 1.6 percent to 107.7 in August from a downwardly revised 109.4 in July, but remains 5.8 percent above August 2012 when it was 101.8; the data reflect contracts but not closings. Pending sales have been above year-ago levels for the past 28 months.

Bend home sales are slowing.  Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the decline was expected following elevated levels of closed existing-home sales at the end of summer. “Sharply rising mortgage interest rates in the spring motived buyers to make purchase decisions, culminating in a six-and-a-half-year peak for sales that were finalized last month,” he said. “Moving forward, we expect lower levels of existing-home sales, but tight inventory in many markets will continue to push up home prices in the months ahead.”

The PHSI in the Northeast rose 4.0 percent to 84.8 in August, and is 5.1 percent above a year ago. In the Midwest the index declined 1.4 percent to 111.6 in August, but is 13.8 percent higher than August 2012. Pending home sales in the South fell 3.5 percent to an index of 116.9 in August, but are 3.7 percent above a year ago. The index in the West declined 1.6 percent in August to 106.9, but is 1.7 percent higher than August 2012.

Although total existing-home sales this year will be up about 11 percent to nearly 5.2 million, little change is seen in 2014, with sales forecast to increase less than 1 percent. The national median existing-home price should rise 11 to 12 percent for all of 2013, easing to an increase of 5 to 6 percent next year, with general improvement expected in inventory supplies.

Interest rates are great and there is still a good choice of homes for sale in Bend.

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Oct. 1, 2013

Existing Homes Sales - August 2013

Existing-home sales increased in August and reached the highest level in six-and-a-half years, while the median price shows nine consecutive months of double-digit year-over-year increases, according to the National Association of Realtors.  Bend Oregon real estate sales are starting to flatten out with activity from home buyers decreasing.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.48 million in August from 5.39 million in July, and are 13.2 percent higher than the 4.84 million-unit level in August 2012.

Sales are at the highest pace since February 2007, when they hit 5.79 million, and have remained above year-ago levels for the past 26 months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the market may be experiencing a temporary peak. “Rising mortgage interest rates pushed more buyers to close deals, but monthly sales are likely to be uneven in the months ahead from several market frictions,” he said. “Tight inventory is limiting choices in many areas, higher mortgage interest rates mean affordability isn’t as favorable as it was, and restrictive mortgage lending standards are keeping some otherwise qualified buyers from completing a purchase.”

Total housing inventory at the end of August increased 0.4 percent to 2.25 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 4.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 5.0-month supply in July. Unsold inventory is 6.3 percent below a year ago, when there was a 6.0-month supply. “Limited inventory in some areas means multiple bidding remains a factor; 17 percent of all homes sold above the asking price in August, although 63 percent sold below list price.”

Data from realtor.com, NAR’s listing site, shows large declines in inventory from a year ago in Naples, Fla., down 23.5 percent; the Detroit area, down 23.3 percent; and the greater Boston area, down 20.7 percent.

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.46 percent in August from 4.37 percent in July, and is the highest since July 2011 when it was 4.55 percent; the rate was 3.60 percent in August 2012.

The national median existing-home price4 for all housing types was $212,100 in August, up 14.7 percent from August 2012. This is the strongest year-over-year price gain since October 2005 when the median rose 16.6 percent, and marks 18 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases.

Distressed homes5 – foreclosures and short sales – accounted for 12 percent of August sales, down from 15 percent in July, and is the lowest share since monthly tracking began in October 2008; they were 23 percent in August 2012. Ongoing declines in the share of distressed sales are responsible for some of the growth in median price.

Eight percent of August sales were foreclosures, and 4 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 16 percent below market value in August, while short sales were discounted 12 percent.

NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, Calif., said rising home values will encourage more people to sell. “As the equity position of most homeowners continues to improve, some who have been on the sidelines will list their home for sale,” he said. “Most of those owners also will be buying another home, but higher levels of new home construction going into 2014, combined with some reduction in demand from less favorable affordability conditions, will help to moderate price growth to more sustainable levels.”

The median time on market for all homes was 43 days in August, little changed from 42 days in July, but is much faster than the 70 days on market in August 2012. Short sales were on the market for a median of 98 days, while foreclosures typically sold in 52, days and non-distressed homes took 41 days. Forty-three percent of homes sold in August were on the market for less than a month.

First-time buyers accounted for 28 percent of purchases in August, down from 29 percent in July and 31 percent in August 2012.

All-cash sales comprised 32 percent of transactions in August, up from 31 percent in July and 27 percent in August 2012. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 17 percent of homes in August, compared with 16 percent in July and 18 percent in August 2012. Last month, three out of four investors paid cash.

Single-family home sales rose 1.7 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.84 million in August from 4.76 million in July, and are 12.8 percent above the 4.29 million-unit pace in August 2012. The median existing single-family home price was $212,200 in August, which is 14.4 percent higher than a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales rose 1.6 percent to an annual rate of 640,000 units in August from 630,000 in July, and are 16.4 percent above the 550,000-unit level a year ago. The median existing condo price was $211,700 in August, up 17.7 percent from August 2012.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast were unchanged at an annual rate of 710,000 in August but are 12.7 percent above August 2012. The median price in the Northeast was $268,800, up 7.6 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest increased 3.1 percent in August to a pace of 1.32 million, and are 18.9 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $166,100, which is 10.0 percent above August 2012.

In the South, existing-home sales rose 3.8 percent to an annual level of 2.19 million in August and are 13.5 percent above August 2012. The median price in the South was $181,000, up 14.6 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West declined 2.3 percent to a pace of 1.26 million in August but are 7.7 percent higher than a year ago. With the tightest regional inventory conditions, the median price in the West rose to $287,500, which is 18.8 percent above August 2012.  Even though inventories are down in Bend the market is slowing.  Now is a great time to buy.

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Aug. 27, 2013

Real Estate Sales Continue to Be Strong

Median home prices continued to rise in the majority of metropolitan areas in the second quarter, with the national year-over-year price showing the strongest gain in seven-and-a-half years, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors.  Bend Oregon home sales continue to climb even though there is limited inventory.

Despite rising prices and higher mortgage interest rates, a companion breakout of income requirements to buy a median-priced home on a metro area basis shows most buyers remain well positioned to afford a home in their area.

The median existing single-family home price increased in 87 percent of measured markets, with 142 out of 163 metropolitan statistical areas showing gains based on closings in the second quarter compared with the second quarter of 2012.  Fifty areas, 31 percent, had double-digit gains; one was unchanged and 20 had price declines.

In the West, existing-home sales rose 2.5 percent in the second quarter and are 7.4 percent above a year ago.  With limited inventory, the median existing single-family home price in the West surged 18.2 percent to $277,500 in the second quarter from the second quarter of 2012.

Eight markets were added to the report in the latest quarter.  In the second quarter of last year, 75 percent of all available areas showed price gains from a year earlier, and only 14 percent of markets rose by double-digit amounts.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said tight inventory is continuing to drive home prices.  “There continue to be more buyers than sellers, and that is placing pressure on home prices, with multiple bids common in some areas of the country,” he said.  “Higher interest rates are now causing sales to level out, but the tight supply conditions look to be with us for the balance of the year in most of the country.  Areas with tighter supplies generally are seeing the strongest price growth, including markets such as Sacramento, Atlanta, Las Vegas, Naples, San Francisco and Los Angeles.”

The national median existing single-family home price was $203,500 in the second quarter, up 12.2 percent from $181,300 in the second quarter of 2012, which is the strongest year-over-year increase since the fourth quarter of 2005 when it surged 13.6 percent.  In the first quarter the median price rose 11.3 percent from a year earlier.

The median price is where half of the homes sold for more and half sold for less.  A shrinking market share of lower priced homes accounts for some of the price growth.  Distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales generally sold at discount – accounted for 17 percent of second quarter sales, down from 26 percent a year ago.

Yun notes areas impacted by judicial foreclosure are seeing more modest price increases.  “In areas where foreclosed inventory still looms because distressed properties are mired in a slow process, lender and market uncertainty are holding back price growth.  This includes areas such as New York City; Hartford; Conn.; and some markets in New Jersey.”

At the end of the second quarter there were 2.19 million existing homes available for sale, which is 7.6 percent below the close of the second quarter of 2012, when 2.37 million homes were on the market.  The average supply during the quarter was 5.1 months, compared with 6.4 months in the second quarter of 2012.

“Supplies in the low 5-month range can be expected for the foreseeable future,” Yun said.  “Steady increases in new home construction will help to relieve shortage conditions going into 2014, which would moderate price growth.”  New homes in Bend continue to come on the market in greater number.  However, builders are reluctant to build too many homes at one time.

Total existing-home sales, including single-family and condo, rose 2.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.06 million in the second quarter from 4.94 million in the first quarter, and were 12.3 percent above the 4.51 million level during the second quarter of 2012.  Sales were at the highest pace since the second quarter of 2007, when they hit 5.23 million.

According to Freddie Mac, the national commitment rate on a 30-year conventional fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.69 percent in the second quarter, up from 3.50 percent in the first quarter; it was 3.80 percent in the second quarter of 2012.  Mortgage interest rates have trended higher in recent weeks.  Mortgage rates in Bend Oregon are still great.

NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, Calif., said higher interest rates ironically may end up helping some buyers by making it easier to qualify for a loan.  “Refinancing activity has slowed dramatically, yet banks have a lot of money and staffing resources, many of whom have less work,” he said.

“Banks now have an incentive to increase loan origination, which means they may dial back overly restrictive mortgage lending standards that have been in place since the crash,” Thomas added.  “We are also optimistic that proposed federal regulations will ensure that creditworthy borrowers continue to have access to safe, affordable options for buying a home.”

A separate breakout of qualifying incomes to purchase a median-priced existing single-family home on a metropolitan area basis generally shows potential buyers were well positioned to purchase in the second quarter.  Income requirements are determined using several scenarios on down payment percentages, which assume 25 percent of gross income is devoted to mortgage principal and interest, with a mortgage interest rate of 3.7 percent.

The national median family income of $62,600 would easily qualify a buyer to purchase a median-priced home in the second quarter.  However, to purchase a home at the national median price, a buyer making a 5 percent down payment would only need an income of $43,100.  With a 10 percent down payment the required income would be $40,800, while with 20 percent down, the necessary income is $36,300.

In the condo sector, metro area condominium and cooperative prices – covering changes in 56 metro areas – showed the national median existing-condo price was $199,700 in the second quarter, up 12.2 percent from the second quarter of 2012.  Fifty metros showed increases in their median condo price from a year ago and six  areas had declines.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast were unchanged in the second quarter but are 9.1 percent above the second quarter of 2012.  The median existing single-family home price in the Northeast was $257,900 in the second quarter, up 6.9 percent from a year ago.

In the Midwest, existing-home sales rose 2.3 percent in the second quarter and are 14.6 percent higher than a year ago.  The median existing single-family home price in the Midwest increased 7.9 percent to $160,600 in the second quarter from the same quarter last year.

Existing-home sales in the South increased 3.2 percent in the second quarter and are 15.1 percent above the second quarter of 2012.  The median existing single-family home price in the South was $180,700 in the second quarter, up 11.0 percent from a year earlier.

Bend Oregon real estate is still a great investment and interest rates are near an all time low.  Northwest Crossing continues to be a strong hold in the Bend market.

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Aug. 22, 2013

Home Sales Jump in July 2013

Bend Oregon real estate sales also jumped in July but the market is slowing.  Reports on home sales are always reporting what has happened in the past and not  current conditions.  Real estate activity in Bend is down 25% in August.  I also think rising home prices are leveling out.   We'll find out next month when sales are reported.

Nationally, existing-home sales rose strongly in July, with the median price maintaining double-digit year-over-year increases, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 6.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.39 million in July from a downwardly revised 5.06 million in June, and are 17.2 percent above the 4.60 million-unit pace in July 2012; sales have remained above year-ago levels for 25 months.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said changes in affordability are impacting the market. “Mortgage interest rates are at the highest level in two years, pushing some buyers off the sidelines,” he said. “The initial rise in interest rates provided strong incentive for closing deals. However, further rate increases will diminish the pool of eligible buyers.”

Despite higher mortgage interest rates, Yun identified compensating factors that can sustain a continued recovery. “Although housing affordability conditions will become less attractive, jobs are being added to the economy, and mortgage underwriting standards should normalize over time from current stringent conditions as default rates fall.”

According to Freddie Mac, the national average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage rose to 4.37 percent in July from 4.07 percent in June, and is the highest since July 2011 when it was 4.55 percent; the rate was 3.55 percent in July 2012.

Total housing inventory at the end of July rose 5.6 percent to 2.28 million existing homes available for sale, which represents a 5.1-month supply at the current sales pace, unchanged from June. Listed inventory is 5.0 percent below a year ago, when there was a 6.3-month supply. “Tight inventory in many areas means above-normal price growth for the foreseeable future,” Yun said.

The national median existing-home price for all housing types was $213,500 in July, which is 13.7 percent above July 2012. This marks 17 consecutive months of year-over-year price increases, which last occurred from January 2005 to May 2006.

The median price has risen at double-digit rates for the past eight months, and is now 7.3 percent below the all-time record of $230,400 in July 2006. Two years ago, the median price was 25.7 percent below the peak.

Distressed homes – foreclosures and short sales – accounted for 15 percent of July sales, the same as in June and matching the lowest share since monthly tracking began in October 2008; they were 24 percent in July 2012. Continuing declines in the share of distressed sales account for some of the price gain.

Nine percent of July sales were foreclosures, and 6 percent were short sales. Foreclosures sold for an average discount of 16 percent below market value in July, while short sales were discounted 12 percent.

The median time on market for all homes was 42 days in July, up from 37 days in June, but is 39 percent faster than the 69 days on market in July 2012. Short sales were on the market for a median of 72 days, while foreclosures typically sold in 50 days and non-distressed homes took 40 days. Forty-five percent of homes sold in July were on the market for less than a month.

Data from realtor.com, NAR’s listing site, shows the tightest inventory conditions, reported as median age of inventory, are in Oakland, Calif., 20 days; Denver, 31 days; and the Seattle area, 36 days.

First-time buyers accounted for 29 percent of purchases in July, unchanged from June, but are down from 34 percent in July 2012.

All-cash sales comprised 31 percent of transactions in July, the same as in June; they were 27 percent in July 2012. Individual investors, who account for many cash sales, purchased 16 percent of homes in July, down from 17 percent in June; they reached a cyclical peak of 22 percent in February of this year.

NAR President Gary Thomas, broker-owner of Evergreen Realty in Villa Park, Calif., said more repeat buyers are using cash. “The overall percentage of cash purchases has been fairly steady, as has the share of first-time buyers, but the investor share has been trending down since February. This means more repeat buyers are using cash in this tight-credit environment,” he said. “With a steady decline in lower priced inventory, particularly in foreclosures, investors are finding fewer bargains to buy.”

Single-family home sales rose 6.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.76 million in July from 4.48 million in June, and are 16.4 percent higher than the 4.09 million-unit level in July 2012. The median existing single-family home price was $214,000 in July, up 13.5 percent from a year ago.

Existing condominium and co-op sales increased 8.6 percent to an annual rate of 630,000 units in July from 580,000 in June, and are 23.5 percent above the 510,000-unit pace a year ago. The median existing condo price was $209,600 in July, which is 15.5 percent higher than July 2012.

Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast surged 12.7 percent to an annual rate of 710,000 in July and are 20.3 percent above July 2012. The median price in the Northeast was $271,200, up 6.7 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the Midwest rose 5.8 percent in July to a pace of 1.28 million, and are 20.8 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the Midwest was $168,300, which is 9.5 percent above July 2012.

In the South, existing-home sales increased 5.0 percent to an annual level of 2.11 million in July and are 16.6 percent above July 2012. The median price in the South was $183,400, up 13.6 percent from a year ago.

Existing-home sales in the West rose 6.6 percent to a pace of 1.29 million in July and are 13.2 percent higher than a year ago. The median price in the West, driven the most by a supply imbalance, was $287,500, which is 19.2 percent above July 2012.

It's still a seller's market in Bend Oregon but there are still some really good buys available.  Plus, interest rates are still at a very desirable rate.  However, there is speculation that the Fed will start increasing rates soon.  Feel free to call or e-mail with your real estate questions. 

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Aug. 2, 2013

Lower Home Inventory and Higher Real Estate Prices

Bend Oregon real estate inventory is down and prices are rising.  After reaching the highest level in over six years, pending home sales declined in June, with rising mortgage interest rates beginning to impact the market, according to the National Association of Realtors.

The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, edged down 0.4 percent to 110.9 in June from a downwardly revised 111.3 in May, but is 10.9 percent higher than June 2012 when it was 100.0; the data reflect contracts but not closings.  Pending sales have been above year-ago levels for the past 26 months, and the pace in May was the highest since December 2006 when it reached 112.8.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said higher home prices and interest rates are beginning to impact affordability, notably in high-cost regions.  “Mortgage interest rates began to rise in May, taking some of the momentum out of contract activity in June,” he said.  “The persistent lack of inventory also is contributing to lower contract signings.”

Yun notes not all contracts go to closing.  “There are some home buyers who sign contracts with strong lender commitment letters, but have floating mortgage interest rates.  Those rates can be locked as late as 10 to 14 days before closing, so some home buyers may change their minds if the rate rises too much, which apparently happened with some sales scheduled to close in June,” he said.  “Closed sales may edge down a bit in the months ahead, but they’ll stay above year-ago levels.”

The Pending Home Sales Index in the Northeast was unchanged at 87.2 in June but is 12.2 percent higher than a year ago.  In the Midwest the index slipped 1.0 percent to 114.3 in June but is 19.5 percent above June 2012.  Pending home sales in the South fell 2.1 percent to an index of 118.3 in June but are 9.5 percent higher than a year ago.  The index in the West rose 3.3 percent in June to 114.2, and is 4.4 percent above June 2012.

Based on year-to-date sales activity, and stable contract signings expected for the balance of the year, NAR projects existing-home sales to rise more than 8 percent in 2013.  Inventory shortages will lead the median price to rise by nearly 11 percent this year.

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