Saws are the sweet sound of a turnaround in Bend's NorthWest Crossing.
Kelly Ritz, president of Stonebridge Homes NW, said Tuesday that for her and many other builders in town, 2006 was the year Bend's housing market crumbled.
"You want to be optimistic, you want to be an optimist, so you tell yourself things are slowing down, but you know it's not going to slow down that much," recalled Ritz.
But it did -- and soon, foreclosed signs were popping up everywhere. For contractors, building new homes while tons sat empty with For Sale signs was just not an option.
"It's like being in a boat in a river, and you're in like an eddy," said Ritz. "You're just kind of spinning around and going nowhere. And I'm one of the lucky ones, I could just spin around and go nowhere, as opposed to a guy who just keeps going down over the last six years."
Ritz says one thing keeping her business afloat was being a part of planned community's builders guild. Her company is one of only a few that gets first dibs on lots in the trendy Westside family neighborhood.
"NorthWest Crossing is very appealing, because it's not just like your regular subdivision, where you can buy a home or a lot for a low price. It's a lifestyle they're buying," said Ritz.
It's hard to believe in this economy, but many of the homes there go from being for sale, to sold before the address numbers are even hung up.
Contractor Tom Norton says the sudden recovery of the housing market is a double-edged sword.
"It's a weight off your shoulders, because you're not scrambling in one direction. But now we're scrambling in another, to find enough guys to get stuff done," Norton told me.
And with Bend being on the top of things like CNN Money's best places to retire, you can bet snowbirds and families drawn to the laid-back Central Oregon lifestyle will all need a new house to call home.
"It's feeling really good right now," Norton said. "I feel like we're on the precipice of a lot of hiring, if something doesn't go totally haywire.."
Across the country, May showed housing permits were up 3.2 percent. Here in Bend in May, 32 house building permits were approved, up from 21 a year ago at this time. Every house built, statistically is shown on average to create three jobs and generate $90,000 in taxes.