BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- As more of America's professionals have shifted to working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many from different regions are deciding to call Bend home -- and that's made for a hot market and new record real estate prices.
In fact, Bloomberg recently included Bend on its list of "Zoom Cities" -- named for the ever-present video-conferencing program -- places they say people are heading tom now that they are working from home and can live anywhere, untethered to the office.
The pandemic-fueled movement could help explain the continued surge in real estate prices.
The median price for a single-family home in Bend broke yet another record in July. The monthly report from Beacon Appraisal showed the city having a median sale price of $529,000, meaning the market saw around a 13 percent increase from July of last year.
Redmond also saw significant price increases, with home prices up about 10 percent.
Beacon Appraisal's Donnie Montagner said the new average was hard to believe: "The data was reviewed three times, in order to ensure the $529,000 (figure) was correct."
Montagner said Bend saw over 300 single-family home sales in July. "This spike may be temporary," he wrote, "and time will tell if the trend remains over $500,000."
He also noted that building permits issued in Bend and Redmond "are at typical levels."
Real estate experts point to the fact that demand remains strong, despite the pandemic. And that has made for a tight inventory of homes available to buy-- less than a one-month supply.
Derek Cox with Cascade Sotheby's International Real Estate says their website is seeing a large number of out-of-town visitors.
Cox told NewsChannel 21, " For the first six months of 2019 to the first six months of 2020, people in the state of Washington that search has gone up 46 percent, people in California that search has gone up 38 percent and people inside of Oregon looking to come here, that search has gone up 28 percent."
Cox said buyers are giving several reasons for considering or moving to the Bend area -- some familiar, in terms of the area's amenities, but now with the work-from-home trend playing a significant role.
"When everything went into effect with the lockdowns -- the benefit of living inside of a big city is that you get the amenities of the big city," he said. "You're going to pay a specific price for that."
"But if all of that's been taken away from you, and you have to stay inside, then what's the whole point of paying that amount of money to stay in that city?" Cox said. "So we're hearing that feedback from people, and people just like the ability when they come here, in a five-minute drive you can be completely in nature and not around anybody."
He also said homes priced higher than average are not only seeing multiple offers, but also cash-only offers.