Summer is just on the horizon. During a normal year, that would mean a surge of new housing inventory as Bend and Eugene sellers try to take advantage of the fair weather and influx of visitors.
But while inventory is up – marginally – in both communities, what we’ve seen so far has been underwhelming. Compared to other markets across the country, the supply of homes in Bend and Eugene remains low, low, low, and that is still the beginning and the end of the story for both markets.
With competition so fierce, potential buyers in Bend and Eugene might be wondering whether it’s better to wait out some of the craziness, especially if inventory is starting to increase even a little bit. We’ve taken a deeper dive into that question in our latest blog article, and the answer is a little complicated, so go there for the full scoop.
Read on for our analysis of May’s market data.
May 2021 Real Estate Market Report for Bend, Oregon
The first piece of news is that Bend’s median sale price dropped from an all-time high of $652,000 in April to $628,500 in May. This isn’t a huge surprise: April’s 10% month-over-month gain wasn’t going to be sustainable, particularly with inventory increasing slightly. But we predict that Bend’s market will head back there pretty fast.
The reason? New residential listings actually stayed flat between April (382 new listings) and May (384 new listings). That isn’t normal for this time of year. In May of 2019, 602 new residential properties hit the market in Bend, 43% percent more than we’re seeing right now. So why are fewer sellers putting their homes on the market when prices are so high and vaccinations are becoming more widespread?
The simplest answer is that it’s too hard to find a replacement home. It’s a Catch-22: people can’t list their home because there aren’t homes to buy, and that means even less homes for sale. Even if you can find a replacement property, if you’re relying on funds from the sale of your current home, it’s hard to beat the competition and get an accepted offer.
Unsurprisingly, new inventory is trending away from the lower end of Bend’s market. New listings in the $300-450k range were down 68% year-over-year. At the same time, new listings in the $450-650k range were up 60%, and we expect new construction to meet, at least in part, the high demand for homes in this price range.
May 2021 Real Estate Market Report for Eugene, Oregon
*The RMLS database doesn’t track the amount of inventory available during previous months.
In Eugene, prices continued to climb in May, rising 2% month-over-month to a record high of $424,000. As we mentioned above, inventory is up slightly in Eugene – but it’s just a very slight increase, from 0.6 months in April to 0.7 months in May. Meanwhile, there are indications that Eugene could be in for a very busy summer home-buying season.
New listings increased 37% month-over-month in May, but pending sales were up 42% compared to April. That means buyers are entering the market faster than sellers. If that trend continues, we can expect prices – and competition – to continue to climb heading into the summer. There’s a chance, though, that seller activity will spike somewhat later than buyer activity, maybe providing some relief for buyers later in the summer.
Comparing 2021 to 2019 – our last “normal” year – seller activity is down 13%. That’s a smaller gap than what we’re seeing in Bend, but it still indicates a significant deficit in inventory given how tight Eugene’s market was even in 2019.