Bend real estate recovering
And interesting article by Elon Glucklich in The Bulletin states that a long-awaited real estate recovery in Bend may already be under way. The gist of the article appears below.
But don’t expect boom to return
On Friday, at The Riverhouse Convention Center, there was hope that tepid market conditions would gradually improve this year — but caution that homeowners, brokers and investors would have to brace for a “new normal” in the market.
“We’re on the verge of recovery”
“We’re on the verge of a recovery,” Ron Ross, principal broker at Compass Commercial Real Estate Services, told a crowd of about 200 business, real estate and financial officials. But “we can’t wait for the economy to get back to where it was in 2005. That’s not going to happen any time soon.
Homes in Bend . . . 1986 to 2004
Between 1986 and 2004, median home prices in Bend increased at an average yearly rate of 6.1 percent, Ross said, a healthy rate of growth that slightly outpaced national growth. But as the economy sped up in the years that followed, growth took off. Six percent increases soon blossomed into 16 percent value gains on average, between 2004 and 2007.
Spurred by population growth and a rise in demand, home prices rocketed upward. In 2006, median home prices in Bend crept toward $400,000, according to Central Oregon Association of Realtors data, up about 30 percent from 2005. “Then,” said Ross, “came 2008.”
By the end of 2009, Bend prices had dropped 68 percent from their 2007 value (I don’t think that’s right!)
By the fall of 2011, median home prices in Bend were at $212,000 (last month they were $186,000)
John Mitchell of M & H Economic Consultants
Mitchell shared several data points showing just how far the Bend real estate market has fallen from its highs.
About 22 percent of the nation’s homeowners are underwater,
owing more on their mortgages than their homes are worth, he said. Since the market tanked in 2008, $7 trillion in home equity has vanished.
“The American dream, for most people meant having their kids be better off than them,” he said. “Now, that’s not so sure. Kids are still living it home.”
But there are signs of recovery. Nationwide employment picked up in the second half of 2011 — Oregon added 20,000 jobs last year, after losing more than 100,000 in 2009. In December, the statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped to 8.9 percent, the first time it had fallen below 9 percent in three years, according to the Oregon Employment Department.
Homes in Bend are cheaper than they’ve been in 9 years!
Interest rates near 4 percent are enticing first-time buyers to make offers on homes that are cheaper than they’ve been in nine years.
“Housing affordability is at record levels,” Mitchell said. At the start of 2012, “Median families have almost twice as much income to buy the median house.
“There may not be a better time to buy a home in Bend in my lifetime.”
“I’m going to say that winter of 2011 and 2012 marked the beginning of the housing recovery in Bend,” Ross said.