What is happening Central Oregon, since the onset of COVID19? Gov. Brown deemed the real estate industry as essential during the stay at home order. Because of this, the local real estate market is and has been carrying on, business as usual in terms of numbers.
The median home price for Bend in April rose slightly from March to $468,000 and 166 sales closing for the month of April. Building permits remain nearly the same as one year ago, at 45 new building permits pulled with the City of Bend for the month of April.
The Redmond median home price also ticked up at $358,000 for the month of April, with 68 total closed sales. In addition, Redmond has seen a significant uptick in building permits issued in comparison to April 2019, at 46 permits.
The scarcity of inventory has long been an issue for Central Oregon. According to the Beacon Report, issued monthly by the Beacon Appraisal Group, Central Oregon holds less than a three-month supply of housing inventory, and Bend specifically with a two-month supply.
Another notable data point is the 4% increase in median sales price. This is in direct correlation to the long-term shortage of inventory that Central Oregon has been experiencing for years. With a continued shortage of inventory, the pricing increases are not surprising. This is true in any market, where there is scarcity of a product the prices are driven up—not unlike what we've experienced in the last two months with the pricing of hand sanitizers, disinfectants and other types of PPE.
Central Oregon is also beginning to collect data on showings since the onset of COVID-19 and the stay-at-home order. Central Oregon Association of Realtors is reporting that in-person showings have decreased by nearly 50% of what there were in April of 2019. While the number of showings has dropped significantly, buyers are turning to what is becoming the new industry normal of virtual and video showings.
The bottom line: the real estate market for Central Oregon is still very much open for business, as is evidenced by the numbers. As we continue to move through this health crisis and states begin to ease the orders, I believe we will begin to see the market bustle as it has for the last several years…it is just going to be a little later than the sales cycles that we have become accustomed to. Interest rates are still very low and are projected to remain that way for some time. The neighboring states that have traditionally fed the growth and immigration for Central Oregon, will open back up and with that, movement will continue toward our high desert region.
It goes without saying that we live a different world than we did just seven short weeks ago. While the first COVID-19 market data is emerging, it will take several more months to realize the true impact of this virus on the real estate market. That said, your local real estate professionals are working hard to ensure that our markets are as physically safe and robust as possible. If you have any questions, as always, do not hesitate to contact a real estate professional.