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Real Estate Forecast: Continued Chilly

Tomorrow, April 25, marks the day when the Bend real estate market is supposed to pull out of its slump - at least according to



Tomorrow, April 25, marks the day when the Bend real estate market is supposed to pull out of its slump - at least according to the cheerful prediction that appraiser Dana Bratton made publicly two months ago. The EYE can't say we've seen any clear signs of a turnaround so far, but maybe it's too soon to tell.

Meanwhile, however, it's interesting and possibly instructive to take a peek at the spring "Economic and Real Estate Trends" report (available for download here) recently put out by PMI Mortgage Insurance Co.

Looking at the national picture, PMI's economists say: "Our models indicate that the decline in house prices is only about one-third to one-half over, due primarily to the magnitude of the supply/demand imbalance in the housing market. This assumes that the current economic downturn is both short and modest, and that the disarray in financial markets ends soon."

Page 7 of the PMI report features a fascinating map of the United States showing where PMI's analysts believe home prices will continue to decline. Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) where the analysts think prices are 60% to 100% likely to drop over the next two years are marked in bright red.

Pretty much all of Southern California is a solid sea of red, as is a big chunk of Northern California and southern Florida. But go north of California a few hundred miles and you'll spot a little island of bright red smack dab in the middle of Oregon - Deschutes County.

If PMI's projections are correct, it looks like "The Best Buyers' Market in 20 Years" hasn't quite arrived yet.

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