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The Return of Inventory

In the ever-shifting real estate market, a return to more "normal"

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Some interesting things are starting to happen in the Bend real estate market as we head full speed into the typical "busy season." This year we have seen a massive shift as the year has gone along from frenzied to busy. Now when I say busy, I am speaking generally, the last couple years withstanding, which were an anomaly in the real estate world. The year started busy as people were frantic to get into contracts as the Fed announced the coming rate increases. It was the busiest first quarter in many, many years as everyone made one last push to try and secure a home, while locking in a low interest rate.

COURTESY UNSPLASH
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Now, as we are in the middle part of the year and rates have increased, we have seen a bit of a decrease in demand. Demand is still high, it is just not at the crazy level it has been the last few years, so it feels like a massive slow down and falling market, but we are still in a sellers' market overall, just not nearly as strong of a sellers' market as the last two years. The change that is occurring right now and we have seen over the last few weeks is that inventory is starting to come back, which will "help" buyers as sellers have to compete against each other—which was something we were not seeing much of the last few years. The other noteworthy item is, historically speaking, June is a somewhat slow month. People are busy with school getting out and going on vacations, and this year, finally enjoying some nice weather.

Any broker who worked with buyers in 2021 and the start of 2022 knows about "the weekly sequence." This sequence is a property going up for sale Wednesday or Thursday, with offers due by Sunday or Monday, amid frantic showings and multiple offers. It was a weekly emotional roller coaster and the only way off was to "win" a bidding war or give up the home search. During that time, it was typical that around 120-180 single family residences were for sale at any given time in Bend. As I write this article today, there are about 550 single family residences for sale in Bend. This increase in inventory has given buyers a lot more options to look at and forces sellers to price more aggressively to attract buyers.

Despite what you may have read or heard, people are still writing offers. Buyers are just being more selective and looking for opportunities to get a deal. Anytime the market shifts there are opportunities, as some folks see the market crashing and feel like they need to sell ASAP (I am not in this crowd). However, these nervous people are out there, and savvy buyers will find opportunities. Other opportunities exist, as they always have, what we call life happening. People get career opportunities in another city, family things happen and people move; any number of things can "force" someone to sell and to some, the urgency to complete a sale is more important than top dollar. Here in Central Oregon our region is still in high demand, but the market is changing, and homes will take longer than a week or gasp, a month or two, to sell. These are not signs of impending doom in the real estate market; rather, just it drifting back toward a healthy, normal market.

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