Safety First

To our Valued Clients, Customers, and our Brokers

In light of recent developments surrounding the spread of COVID-19, it has become clear that the world is facing an unprecedented event. We understand our clients will continue to have housing needs, but the health and wellbeing of our agents, clients, friends, tenants, families, and community will remain our top priority.

We are implementing the following precautions to address the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus:

• Adhering to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) protocols and guidelines, at a minimum.

• We are balancing the needs of our clients who have housing needs while limiting open houses, avoiding large gatherings, and encouraging creative, efficient ways of exposing or showing homes during this crisis.

• We are maintaining a high level of cleanliness practices in all of our offices. While we assess the safety of doing so, we will continue to keep open. 

For those attending open houses:

We are encouraging our agents to show homes virtually or by appointment only, but we are allowing individual agents and sellers to make that decision for now. We recommend the use of booties, soap, wipes, and hand sanitizers in common areas.

For our clients:

We are prepared to move our business online, from virtual meetings, video tours, FaceTime/Skype showings, hands-free open house registration, electronic payments, digital signatures, and online transaction management system. We are working hard to protect our clients, agents, staff, tenants and landlords to prevent the spread of disease, while doing our best to continue helping you buy or sell homes.

At this time, our offices are open but may close as needed. We encourage the use of phone, text, and email when communicating with our agents. We will move all scheduled events, trainings and seminars online. We will support our agents and help them effectively service your needs while ensuring their comfort and yours with how best to deal with this challenging situation. You are encouraged to call-in to speak with an agent and to set up appointments in advance.

Please visit our website for office and broker contact information.

www.CascadeSothebysRealty.com

We hope that you stay healthy as we all navigate this together.


Fed Slashes Rates to Near Zero, Vows Massive Bond-Buying Program

The Federal Reserve swept into action on Sunday in an effort to save the U.S. economy from the fallout of the coronavirus, slashing its benchmark interest rate by a full percentage point to near zero and promising to boost its bond holdings by at least $700 billion.

Underlining the sense of urgency amid mounting recession fears, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told a hastily assembled press briefing by telephone that the virus’s disruption to lives and businesses meant second quarter growth would probably be weak and it was hard to know how long the pain would last. That left him advocating a clear role for fiscal policy to help cushion the blow.

“The thing that fiscal policy, and really only fiscal policy can do, is reach out directly to affected industries, affected workers,” Powell said. “We do know that the virus will run its course and that the U.S. economy will resume a normal level of activity. In the meantime, the Fed will continue to use our tools to support the flow of credit.”

The Fed pulled out some of the biggest weapons in its arsenal. It’s key rate is now zero to 0.25%, matching the record low level it hit during the 2008 financial crisis and where it was held until December 2015.

The central bank also announced several other actions, including letting banks borrow from the discount window for as long as 90 days and reducing reserve requirement ratios to zero percent.

In addition, it united with five other central banks to ensure dollars are available around the world via swap lines. Powell said that he did not think negative rates, which have been used in Europe and Japan, would be appropriate policy in the U.S.

President Donald Trump, who as recently as Saturday attacked the Fed for not lowering rates faster and further, quickly expressed support for the move

“It makes me very happy and I want to congratulate the Federal Reserve,” he said. “That’s a big step and I’m very happy they did it.”

Treasuries surged and U.S. equity futures tumbled at the start of another volatile week as investors responded to the rapidly escalating economic impact from the coronavirus and bet it will overwhelm the policy response. The Bank of Japan said it was bringing forward to Monday a meeting scheduled for later this week.

The Fed’s emergency action came as more and more evidence emerged that the U.S. economy is being hit hard by the virus. On Sunday alone, Ohio ordered all bars and restaurants closed indefinitely, Nike shuttered all its stores at least through March 27 and airlines announced drastic cuts to their international flight schedules.

Businesses are instructing staff to work from home, and travel and entertainment are being particularly affected as people take steps to observe social distancing to avoid infection.

As the fallout spreads across the economy, the risk of a recession is mounting. Goldman Sachs slashed its GDP forecasts on Sunday. It’s now predicting zero growth in the first quarter and a 5% contraction in the second.

Powell, who said he planned to do some telecommuting himself to set a good work-from-home example, told reporters on the call that the rate decision Sunday is in lieu of the Fed’s regularly scheduled meeting this week, planned for Tuesday and Wednesday.

He also said that the quarterly forecasts that would have been released at that meeting had been scrapped in light of the current uncertainty caused by the virus and would probably next be updated in June.

With Sunday’s announcement, the Fed is firing some of the biggest guns in its arsenal, but economists say without a similar, forceful response from the government, the country’s record 11 year expansion could end in recession. Stocks have already tumbled into a bear market.

“The Fed had to make this move, and waiting would have been a grave mistake,” said Michael Darda, market strategist at MKM Partners. “The problem is there is a tsunami coming and the Fed is likely to be overwhelmed by it, and the markets know that.”

The Fed said it will keep interest rates near zero “until it is confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals.”

The central bank acted as leaders from the Group of Seven nations, including Trump, are set to discuss their virus response on a teleconference on Monday. Central bankers and investors have pressed governments to do more to support their economies given monetary ammunition is running low and because fiscal policy can be targeted at corners of an economy that need it most.

“The Federal Reserve is prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals,” it said.

To support smooth functioning in the Treasury and mortgage backed securities market, the Fed said it would lift its holdings of Treasury securities by at least $500 billion and of MBS by at least $200 billion.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester cast a lone dissent, preferring rates were instead cut to a 0.5%-0.75% range.

The Fed’s actions followed the Trump administration and Congress’s first comprehensive steps Friday to assure the public that it has a coordinated public health and fiscal policy response.

See the original article on Bloomberg.com


March First Friday Art Walk – Downtown Bend

Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty participated Bend’s First Friday event on March 6th at our Downtown Real Estate Gallery where hundreds of people toured the downtown shops and restaurants. Hosted by brokers Corinne Clarke and Chris DeJon, live music was provided by guitarist Justin Lavik and artwork from local artist Julie Winter was on display. A representative from Northwestern Home Loans was available to discuss today’s record low interest rates.

Artist Bio

Julie Winter of Bend, Oregon is a printmaker, educator and graduate student in Visual Studies at Pacific Northwest College of Art (MFA August 2018). Julie has served in many roles at Atelier 6000/Bend Art Center including volunteer, core instructor, Studio & Gallery Director, Interim Executive Director and artist member. Her recent work is exploring non-toxic electro-etching techniques and combining them with woodcuts and monotypes as she continues to incorporate the Central Oregon landscape into the symbolism of place and self.

Artist Statement

I explore perceptions of place and how these are represented in landscapes, specifically how cultures walk upon and are a physical presence on the surface of the earth and the traces we leave and pick up. I investigate the intersections of the internal and external landscapes and how these become transitional spaces for connection, relationship, translation, and transformation. I set up systems of observation and collection as ways to inventory the traces and then translate the information into orchestrated landscapes. I use the process of printmaking as a translation device for this information. My goal is to invite the viewer into a conversation about their relationship to place and with others.


Sotheby’s International Realty Achieves Record $114 Billion in Global Sales Volume in 2019

Sotheby’s International Realty is pleased to announce that its affiliated brokers and sales professionals achieved more than $114billion USD in global sales volume, the highest annual U.S. sales volume performance in the history of the brand. $102 billion USD of the global sales volume was achieved in the U.S., marking another record accomplishment for the brand.

“In 2019, the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand continued to achieve solid growth,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer for Sotheby’s International Realty. “The brand expanded into new countries and territories and entered new markets in the U.S. We continued to make strategic business decisions that benefitted both our independent sales associates and affiliate companies. I am immensely proud of the hard work and dedication from our vast global network, and I look forward to continuing this momentum in 2020.”

2019 Achievements

Propelled by a strategic business move in March 2019, when Sotheby’s International Realty integrated its affiliate network and company-owned brokerage into one global organization, 50 new Sotheby’s International Realty offices were opened, bringing the brand’s presence to 1,000 offices in 70 countries and territories and more than 23,000 affiliated sales associates worldwide.

Sotheby’s International Realty continued to lead the category with the roll-out of exclusive marketing affiliations and first-ever technology launches, announcing it will soon unveil a new, fully integrated website. The brand’s existing website, sothebysrealty.com, saw another record year with more than 34 million visits, a 14 percent increase year-over-year. In addition, Sotheby’s International Realty was the first real estate brand to launch and implement mixed reality to its Curate by Sotheby’s International Realty sm augmented reality app, which merges the real world with virtual home staging. The platform can be utilized in various homebuying and selling scenarios, and particularly benefits agents and developers to help prospective buyers envision their new home. To support the daily business needs of the network’s more than 23,000 independent sales associates, the brand unveiled Current by Sotheby’s International Realty® a robust marketing suite of technology tools consisting of best-in-class and exclusive apps, which provide sales associates with a distinctive and competitive edge in the market. For partnerships, the brand entered into an affiliation with Bloomberg.com as the exclusive launch sponsor for a new luxury properties marketplace.

The Sotheby’s International Realty brand and its independent sales associates continued its support for New Story, the brand’s charitable partner and a certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. As a result, 83 families, who were among those who lost their homes in the 2017 earthquakes, were able to move into their new homes in Morelos, Mexico. A total of 153 homes in Haiti and Mexico were funded through the initiative.

Global Growth

This year observed significant growth for the brand’s existing affiliate companies in the United States through recruitment efforts and strategic mergers and acquisitions. Most notably, the brand increased its market presence in Brooklyn, New York; the Greater Boston area, Massachusetts; and Indiana. The brand also entered several new key markets last year, expanding the Sotheby’s International Realty network’s presence to 43 states across the country.

Outside the U.S. the Sotheby’s International Realty brand achieved more than $12 billion USD in sales volume and continued to expand into key markets around the world. In Europe, the brand grew its presence in Monaco; France; and Berlin and Binz, Germany. New offices were also opened in Doha, Qatar; and Paphos, Cyprus, expanding the brand’s global presence in marketing luxury listings. In the Caribbean and South America, the brand saw growth in Zapallar, Chile, an upscale residential community located two hours outside of Santiago; and agreements were signed to expand into the Anguilla territory. In the Asia-Pacific region, new offices were opened in Tauranga, New Zealand; and Port Douglas, Hobart, and Perth, Australia.