Bend's boom back? Home price rise No. 4 in nation

Meanwhile, city room tax revenues also hit a record

BEND, Ore. - Two new sets of numbers out Thursday – one national, one local – shed additional light on more hopeful signs about Central Oregon's housing market and tourism industry after several troubled years.

While U.S. house prices rose 2.1 percent in the second quarter of the year, the Bend-Redmond metro area (all of Deschutes County) saw a home price appreciation rate more than twice that, of 5.25 percent, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

But it's the one-year increase of nearly 17 percent in home prices that puts the Bend metro area at no. 4 in the country for house price appreciation, according to the agency numbers.

However, one only has to look over one column to the right -- at the five-year price change -- for a quick reminder of how hard the recession hit Deschutes County real estate, which still has seen a 27.2 percent home price depreciation since the second quarter of 2008.

Bend-Redmond's home price gain over the past year was only topped by Stockton-Lodi, Calif., Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Arizona and Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nevada. Modesto, Calif. Rounded out the top five.

The national figure was the eighth straight quarterly price rise in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index.

"The housing market experienced one of its strongest quarters since the boom in the middle of the last decade," said FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis.

The HPI is calculated using home price sales information from mortgages sold to or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Meanwhile, Bend room tax revenues for the 2013 fiscal year ended June 30 topped $3.88 million, a 10.3 percent increase from the previous year and a record figure, Visit Bend's Doug La Placa told city councilors and others by e-mail Wednesday.

The last two years have been back-to-back record-breakers in room tax revenues, and nine of the 12 months of the past year also were the highest on record, La Placa said.

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