Central Oregon property values spiking

Values jump amid tight housing inventory

C. Oregon property values spiking

BEND, Ore. - In a healthy housing market, there's about a six-month supply of inventory. During the recession, that grew to about 20 months' worth. But right now in Bend, there are fewer than three months of inventory.

That's bad news for buyers, since the flow of new people into Central Oregon isn't slowing down.

"There's a lot more buyers that are looking out there, and the inventory is so low for a lot of these buyers right now," High Desert Realty principal broker Ken Mucha said Monday.

The lack of inventory has caused the number of listings to plummet.

The Bend urban growth boundary expansion, which was recently approved by the state, is an answer for the future, but it came 10 years after the city requested it, and in the views of some is smaller than needed.

"The original request was for 10,000 acres, and we only got 2,000," Bend Premier Real Estate owner Lynnea Miller said. "So that tells you they need to be starting right away on the next urban growth boundary expansion."

Essentially, there isn't enough land supply for the housing demand, which hasn't slowed down a bit.

"It's not affordable because there's not enough housing to meet the demand," Miller said. "It's basic economics."

So we're seeing prices rise at an even higher rate than usual.

Another reason for the recent spike in value is the abnormally snowy winter in Central Oregon. Specifically, buyers just didn't get out to see homes because the snow was too deep. Now that the weather's getting better, the bounce back is steeper than in most years.

Brokers expect the prices to fall more in line with the national trend, once the UGB expansion area is developed.

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