It’s time to celebrate!  No, I didn’t just win The Masters (though there’s a green jacket in the closet of my dreams), it’s the inaugural blog for LiveGolfBend!  This blog will provide a unique perspective on golf and real estate in the Bend area.  We’ll discuss communities, neighborhoods, real estate trends, golf topics, and anything else of interest and/or impact on golf and real estate.

To kick things off, I’m going to announce the bottom of the real estate downturn in Central Oregon. Not necessarily today, but sometime this year.  Here’s what I’m seeing:

  1. Inventory levels in the two largest markets of Bend and Redmond are below 4 months and have been that way for close to two quarters (6 months is considered a healthy market).  That’s a long way from the 14 months of inventory we had just after the crash.
  2. We’re seeing an increased number of multiple offer situations on homes in certain price points.  With low inventory levels, it’s getting harder for buyers to find quality product and, therefore, buyers are competing for those homes. Basic supply/demand dictates that when there are more buyers for a specific product than product to sell, prices go up.
  3. Builders have started to increase their production, though cautiously.  There isn’t the amount of new construction we saw during the boom, but it feels that way, since construction has been virtually non-existent for years.
  4. At our most recent weekly MLS meeting, almost a dozen agents announced buyer needs. Agents bring up buyer needs because they’ve been through MLS, seen the available inventory, and can’t find the right home for their buyer.  That’s the first time in 4 years I can remember that many buyer need announcements in one meeting.

These are all good signs that I believe point towards a bottom in the market.  The one wild card for me is the bank-owned inventory.  No one really has a good handle on how much inventory the banks have on their books and I want to see what the banks do this spring and summer before I go all-in saying the bottom is actually here.

If you’re an active buyer, it’s time to get off the fence.  The incredible window of opportunity to capture low interest rates and low home prices at the same time is starting to close.  If you’re a seller, take heart.  The playing field is starting to level out.  It won’t be long before prices begin to stabilize and the time it takes to sell your home is reduced.  Again, time to celebrate!