Central Oregon real estate: Stable, better in 2012

Realtors see stronger market after rough sledding

POSTED: 10:56 AM PST January 30, 2013    UPDATED: 7:04 PM PST January 3, 2013 
BEND, Ore. -

More buying, selling and price stability made 2012 a better year in Central Oregon real estate after several difficult ones.

The year "shaped up to be a very good year for the whole real estate market," said Michael Warren, president-elect of the Central Oregon Association of Realtors.

He says 2012 was a stabilizing year, and throughout Central Oregon, Bend seems to grow faster than other communities.

According to Trulia, an online residential real estate site, Bend showed an average price per square foot increase of 5.4 percent in 2012, coupled with a median home price increase of 9.4 percent.. 

Warren says a few key signs show positive movement in the local housing picture, such as inventory levels and the time inventory stays on the market.

However, some argue while the market is healing , it also makes buying less affordable.

Economists with Trulia say most of us watch home prices to gauge the health of the housing market -- and that's so 2012. They add that just because prices are rising, it doesn't necessarily mean the industry is doing any better.

Trulia says in the year ahead, a better pulse of the market will be the rate of jobs growth.

Warren said the local real estate market has "been slow for the past few years, but this year it's obviously gotten better -- you know, there's just indicators that everything is starting to be on the rise and move a little quicker."

Realtors say they are ready for a robust recovery. They say Bend tends to grow faster, and the activity happens in Bend first, but it is also an indicator for outlying areas that they will soon follow.