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The Possible Return to a Normal Market

No need to panic; things are still hot in this recently magma-hot market

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The elephant in the room in real estate right now is and has been for a few weeks: interest rates! Yes, the rates have gone up recently, so what is going on in the market? Lots of things are changing and evolving, but right now demand is still high and inventory is low, so most properties are still moving quickly. We are seeing fewer "stampedes" of buyers trying to get into new listings, and the number of offers is down slightly. This was bound to happen at some point; a slowdown was inevitable. The point that I am making is that the real estate market cooling down a bit is not a sign of impending financial crisis—rather just a typical cycle, moving out of one of the hottest times in real estate history.

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Kind of like standing on the summit of a mountain, there is only one direction one can go: down—much like the real estate market shifting from "magma hot" to "hot." Please do not make the mistake of inferring that because we have shifted from maybe the hottest real estate market ever toward a "more typical" real estate market that the "bubble" has popped. The rise in rates has priced some buyers out of this market, but relatively, that is a small percentage of the overall demand in Bend. Many of the folks priced out of Bend with the rate increase will have to look elsewhere in the region: Redmond, La Pine, Prineville, Madras, Terrebonne, etc. Prices will not be plummeting over the next few months to try to entice buyers to buy now; rather, prices will remain steady and homes may just spend a little longer on the market before accepting an offer.

Just a few years ago, in say, 2018, the real estate market was considered "hot" and homes sat on the market for weeks and months at a time. The last couple of years were an anomaly, so the idea that one can put their home on the market and sell it over asking in a couple of hours is likely a thing of the past. Sellers will have to become more patient as it may take slightly longer to sell their home than it did just a few months ago, but this is just a shift from an extreme sellers' market to just a normal sellers' market. If you're looking to sell your home this spring and summer, it may take a little longer, but that doesn't mean your home is overpriced, undesirable or your agent isn't working hard; just that market forces are changing the landscape a bit.

If one takes a step back and evaluates the current real estate market, we can see that despite the increase in rates, the market is still strong. People who are buying homes right now are still being underwritten to a very high standard. The coming years will likely see lower appreciation than the last few years, but that was expected. Things had to slow down, and just because things are not as frantic, does not mean we are headed toward impending doom. Rather, it's now just a typical real estate market.

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