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Smiles Finally Return in Bend’s Housing Market


After hearing month after month the bad news about the Bend housing market, good news comes as the city is placed on a very good list.

The National Association of Home Builders says Bend is one of four cities added to it’s ‘100 housing markets that will be improving in May.’

It’s a welcome sign for many Realtors across the city.

“So I see a lot more smiles these days,” Kathy Ragsdale, CEO of the Central Oregon Association of Realtors, said Tuesday. “I see a lot less time to grumble about things because they (Realtors) are getting busier.”

Over the last few months, many local Realtors have been seeing a change in sales and what’s available.

“The resale homes have improved over the last six months about 15 percent, in median price,” said Ragsdale, “The new construction has improved 56 percent on median price over the last six months. so that’s very encouraging.”

One measurable factor local Realtors use to determine whether the market is picking up is the average price a home sells per square foot.

In November 2011, the average buyer spent $156 a square foot on a brand-new home.

Six months later, in April 2012, that number jumped $20 to $176 a square foot.

“New construction is becoming more valuable,” said Ragsdale. “People are willing to pay more for newer homes, and that’s always a positive sign for the economy.”

Realtors in Bend say because there is not a lot of inventory on the market at some price points, buyers may have to be more aggressive to get what they want.

“Inventory is particularly low under $250,000,” said Ragsdale, “so any of those under that price point go fairly quickly.”

One Realtor told NewsChannel 21 he believes the worst of the housing bubble appears to be in the rear-view mirror. He’s been seeing five or six offers on a house in just the first few days after the listing, a far cry from just a few years ago.

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