U.S. Home Buyers Drove Contract Signings to December Record

4632 SW 18th Pl, Portland, OR 97239
Presented by Dori Olmsted | Offered at $1,069,000 | MLS# 20230131

From Mansion Global

Activity remained unseasonably high, though listing shortages threaten to take steam out of the housing market

The U.S. market continued an unseasonal rally in December, with pending sales hitting an all-time high for the month, according to an index released Friday.

Home buyers signed 21% more contracts in December than a year prior, as surging demand for homes kept dealmaking at unusually high levels given the time of year, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index.

Frenzied housing activity continued to show slight signs of deceleration, though it’s likely due to a severe lack of homes on the market, according to Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the NAR.

Signed contracts decreased by an ever-so-slight 0.3% in December compared to November, the fourth time in a row that dealmaking fell on a month-to-month basis. Pending sales peaked in August, though housing activity has remained at historically high levels since.

“Pending home sales contracts have dipped during recent months, but I would attribute that to having too few homes for sale,” Mr. Yun said in a news release on Friday. “There is a high demand for housing and a great number of would-be buyers, and therefore sales should rise with more new listings.”

Regionally, the South had the strongest December, with contracts up 27% over December 2019. The Northeast was next, with dealmaking up 22% year-over-year, followed by the West, up 19% annually, and the Midwest, up 14%, according to NAR’s figures.

On a local level, Portland, Oregon; Las Vegas; Denver; Los Angeles and Boston have recorded the most significant recovery in their markets since the lockdowns of last spring, according to a separate index from realtor.com.

Home prices in these and many other cities have soared as a result of competition over too few homes in the wake of the pandemic, which has spurred many to seek out new living arrangements while working and schooling from home. Inventory shortages could improve this spring, however, as sellers list their homes during the peak buying season, economists have speculated.

Full article on Mansion Global


2020’s Existing-home Sales Attain 14-Year Peak

65823 Bearing Drive, Bend, OR 97701
Presented by Pam Mayo-Phillips and Brook Havens | Offered at $2,995,000 | MLS# 220105134

From Realtor Magazine

According to the National Association of Realtors® report last Friday, existing-home sales in 2020 surged to the highest level in 14 years, landing 22% higher than a year ago. Existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops—posted big gains year over year and rose by 0.7% in December 2020 compared to November 2020’s already unseasonably high rates.

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, said “This momentum is likely to carry into the new year, with more buyers expected to enter the market. Although mortgage rates are projected to increase, they will continue to hover near record lows at around 3%. Moreover, expect economic conditions to improve with additional stimulus forthcoming and vaccine distribution already underway.”

Existing-home sales in December 2020 reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.76 million. Still, home buyers are finding a limited number of homes for sale. Inventory levels are at record lows. That has placed continued pressure on home prices, which continue to post double-digit yearly gains.

The median existing-home price for all housing types in December 2020 was $309,800, up nearly 13% compared to December 2019, NAR reports. Every major region of the U.S. saw home prices rise last month.

Full article on Realtor Magazine


Why Right Now May Be the Time to Sell Your House

45900 Tibbetts Rd, Neskowin, OR 97149
Presented by Camilla Arlit | Offered at $2,500,000 | MLS# 20-1410

From Keeping Current Matters

The housing market is now positioned for an even stronger year as it has incredibly recovered in 2020. Record-low mortgage interest rates are a driving factor in this continued momentum, with average rates hovering at historic all-time lows.

Based on the recent Realtors Confidence Index Survey from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyer demand across the country is incredibly strong. However, this is not the same case on the supply side. Seller traffic is simply not keeping up. Here’s a breakdown by state:

As the maps show, buyer traffic is high, but seller traffic is low. With so few homes for sale right now, record-low inventory is creating a mismatch between supply and demand.

NAR also just reported that the actual number of homes currently for sale stands at 1.28 million, down 22% from one year ago (1.64 million). Additionally, inventory is at an all-time low with 2.3 months supply available at the current sales pace. In a normal market, that number would be 6.0 months of inventory – significantly higher than it is today.

What does this mean for buyers and sellers?

Buyers need to remain patient in the search process. At the same time, they must be ready to act immediately once they find the right home since bidding wars are more common when so few houses are available for sale.

Sellers may not want to wait until spring to put their houses on the market, though. With such high buyer demand and such a low supply, now is the perfect time to sell a house on optimal terms.

Full article on Keeping Current Matters


People Moved to Oregon, Especially Bend, in 2020 Despite the Pandemic

187 NW Scenic Heights Drive, Bend, OR 97703
Presented by Julie Moe & Jared Chase Group | Offered at $1,595,000 | MLS# 220102359

From katu.com

Bend, Oregon is now being famously called “Zoom Town” – thanks to a spike of homebuyers in 2020.

Zoom Town, a reference to the video conferencing platform Zoom, described cities with a spike of workers who moved as they discovered that their jobs could be done remotely during the pandemic.

In addition to this, Oregon remains a popular moving destination. Most people have been buying homes in Bend with the intention of living and working there rather than buying a vacation home.

It is also been said that it is financially much more feasible to get a nice family home in and around Portland, as opposed to the Bay Area.

Full article on katu.com


More Generations Are Living under One Roof This Year

2070 NW 113th Ave, Portland, OR 97229
Presented by Jim McCartan and Kayla McCormick | Offered at $1,295,000 | MLS# 20555414

From Keeping Current Matters

2020 changed the way we use our time to where we work, how we socialize and gather together, and our needs at home. This also meant making decisions as to how we can best support and reach out to our extended families.

Some families, with maybe older children who moved back home. While some families, with relatives living in senior facilities, wanted them to move into their home.

These changes led more homebuyers to invest in multi-generational homes to accommodate more long-term plans.  According to the 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers from NAR, a multi-generational home has adult siblings, adult children over the age of 18, parents, and/or grandparents in the household.

Based on a recent study from NAR, there’s been an increase in purchasing trends for homes since the health crisis began. There are many reasons for this uptick in preference toward multi-generational homes. The top reasons show that buyers wanted to safely take care of and spend more time with aging parents.

Contact a real estate professional if you are in a similar situation to learn more about your local options and maybe even have your whole family under one roof by early next year.

Full article on Keeping Current Matters


Overall Home Sales Rise Nearly 26% From 2019

485 NW Spring St, White Salmon, WA 98672
Presented by England Property Group | Offered at $1,495,000 | MLS# 20673312

From Realtor Magazine

The National Association of REALTORS® reported last Tuesday that existing-home sales in November climbed 25.8% compared to last year.

Existing-home sales include completed transactions on single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and co-ops, slightly decreased by 2.5% in November compared to October’s unseasonably high levels. The slight decrease last month ended a five-month streak of month-over-month gains. Still, all four major regions across the country posted significant year-over-year growth.

Buying frenzy continued to press on housing markets in November. NAR reported that home prices are rapidly climbing up due to the high demand, posting double-digit increases compared to a year ago.

NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said that circumstances are far from being back to the pre-pandemic normal. However, the latest stimulus package and with the vaccine distribution underway, and a very strong demand for homeownership still prevalent, robust growth is forthcoming for 2021.

Full article on Realtor Magazine


Single-family Housing Starts Reach Highest Level Since 2007

20377 S Shore Vista Dr, Oregon City, OR 97045
Presented by Brent Gunter | Offered at $3,195,000 | MLS# 20699003

From housingwire.com

According to reports from Census Bureau, single-family housing starts continued their seven-month climb in November, coming in to the highest level since 2007. Housing starts increased by 1.2% in November compared to October and increased by 12.8% year over year to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1.58 million starts. Single-family housing starts rose 0.4% from October and 27.1% compared to last year.

The Mortgage Bankers Association’s associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting, Joel Kan said that the report is consistent with other housing data showing that the housing market has substantially rebounded from Q2 of 2020. The demand for larger homes has strengthened because of the pandemic that led to more construction, home sales, and mortgage applications. He added that the permits for new single-family construction also rose to 2007 highs, potentially an indication that we might see the increase in homebuilding continue into early 2021.

Single-family authorizations in November were at a rate of 1.14 million, up 1.3% from the revised October rate of 1.12 million. Actual single-family housing completions dipped again in November, down 0.6% from October’s rate of 879,000 to 874,000.

First American’s Deputy Chief Economist Odeta Kushi said that the rise in housing starts is a welcome sign of new single-family inventory to come and that 2021 may be the year of the homebuilder.

Zillow’s Economist Matthew Speakman said today’s numbers showcase the enduring strength of the housing and homebuilding markets and that builders are overcoming the constraints that have limited activity in the last few months.

The National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo Housing Market Index measuring builder confidence faltered a bit this month after three months of record highs, falling four points to 86. But it’s still the fourth month in survey history the score broke 80.

Full article on housingwire.com


Migration to booming ‘Zoom towns’ in Pacific Northwest sends home prices into overdrive

19204 Gateway Loop, Bend, OR 97702
Presented by The Ladd Group | Offered at $870,500 | MLS# 202003108

From nwnewsnetwork.org

“Zoom towns”, a new term that you can add to your lexicon. These are scenic places experiencing a surge of house hunters. Booming demand comes from workers freed by the pandemic to work from home long term. One place where the pandemic has charged greatly, an already hot real estate market, is Bend, Oregon.

“I think ‘Zoom town’ very accurately captures the experience that we’re having right now,” said Brian Ladd, a Principal Broker with Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty in Bend.

“For anyone that had interest in moving to a town like ours, that plan was greatly accelerated because of COVID,” Brian Ladd said in an interview over Zoom. “When they were able to work remotely, or they were forced to work remotely, all of a sudden it became an option.”

Brian Ladd’s observations are shared by brokers in some outdoorsy, vacation destinations around the Pacific Northwest. Zoom towns could include Sunriver and parts of the Oregon Coast besides Bend.

The housing market nationwide has shown remarkable strength in 2020, driven by low-interest rates and desire among buyers to acquire more elbow room. What distinguishes the Zoom towns is strong in-migration this year from larger locales. At these destinations, home sales since late spring have gone on a tear, resulting in very low inventory and rapidly rising housing prices.

In Bend and surrounding Deschutes County, the average residential home price in October was up 17% year over year. The median sales price in October in Bend was $560,000. Brian Ladd said the average number of days on the market for desirable homes to go pending is around five days, which means many homes get multiple offers.

“What it felt like is it really unleashed a whole wave of people who had had the dream of moving and living in a beautiful place like this, and it seemingly all happened at once,” said Brian Ladd.

Full article on nwnewsnetwork.org


October existing-home sales see ‘spectacular’ 26.6% annual gain even with short supply and surging prices

8585 SE 242nd Ave Damascus, OR 97089
Presented by Veronica Park | Offered at $4,800,000 | MLS# 19657180

From cnbc.com

According to the National Association of Realtors, sales of existing homes in October soared to 4.3% compared with September, as well as a 26.6% annual increase to an adjusted rate of 6.85 million units.

NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, called this “a spectacular gain”. To him, the surge in sales in recent months had offset the spring market losses. And with the news of having a COVID-19 vaccine will soon be available, and with mortgage rates projected to hover around 3% in 2021, he expects the market’s growth to continue into 2021. Yun forecasts existing home sales to rise by 10% to 6M in 2021.

Based on the report, there were 1.42 million existing homes on the market at the end of October, a 19.8% drop compared with October 2019. At the current sales pace, the data represents a 2.5-month supply, the lowest on record.

NAR also said that the median price of an existing home sold in October was $313,000, up 15.5% annually. That is the highest median price on record and reflects the far stronger sales on the higher end of the market.

Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com, mentioned that while the rising coronavirus cases could dampen sales, mortgage rates could tick up in the months ahead and test the strength of this seemingly unstoppable housing market.

On another note, investors continue to be strong in the market. The severe shortage of existing homes for sale has been incredibly beneficial for the nation’s homebuilders, who have seen very strong demand. Mortgage applications to purchase newly-built homes were up nearly 33% annually in October, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Full article on cnbc.com


The COVID-19 Effect on Bend’s Real Estate Market

Written by: Laura Blossey

11750 NE Canyons Ranch Drive Terrebonne, OR 97760
Presented by Laura Blossey | Offered at $4,500,000 | MLS# 220111416

Bend, Oregon is the epitome of COVID-19 accelerated real estate sales. After only a few weeks’ pause in March from new restrictions, out of town buyers doubled down on Bend as the perfect escape from their respective cities. After evaluating the quality of life and relatively lower cost of living in Bend compared to our feeder markets like the Bay Area and Orange County/ LA, for example, Buyers have been even quicker to move here in the second half of 2020 than in past years.  Why Bend? Buyers are choosing Bend over other markets for many reasons, including the year-round outdoor lifestyle (skiing, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking on the rivers & mountain lakes, golf, horseback riding & more), easy direct flights to West coast markets for ease of visiting clients and friends & family, luxury amenities with a laid back lifestyle, and an overall better quality of life. Bend is the perfect escape from restrictive or chaotic worlds.

COVID-19 set the precedent for working from home, so people started asking themselves, why not work from home in another city? It’s now common for lenders to ask for written proof from Buyer’s employers that the Buyers can indeed work from home in Bend. Contingent purchases are more commonplace as Buyers are willing to put their homes on the market the minute they write an offer on a home in Bend, but even more so cash offers are dominating our sales. Bend has recently been named by WalletHub as the second-fastest growing city in the nation, with COVID-19 clearly a contributing factor.

Examples showing the accelerated growth in Bend since COVID-19 based on sale prices and days on the market (DOM) abound. One of my listings in a desirable neighborhood sold for $905,000 in April, 2020 after 171 days on the market with 2 price reductions. A home on the same street with almost identical specs is currently pending in just 10 days. Listings at all price points have yielded multiple offers – as many as 22! – and are selling for up to $200,000 over asking price which is a new phenomenon in our market since COVID-19.

This graph depicts a sharp increase in median price in 2020 compared to past years during June through September across multiple years. From just the same period a year ago, we saw a 2% decrease in median price in 2019 compared to an 18% increase in 2020. We will continue to be in a strong Seller’s market until new inventory can catch up with demand, but since most people don’t want to leave Bend we’ll rely on new construction to fill the gap.