Kathleen McLaughlin
The Bulletin

The spring home-selling season in Central Oregon brought fewer closings and higher prices, according to a second-quarter report from the Central Oregon Association of Realtors.

Across the three-county region, the number of residential units sold dropped by almost 4 percent, compared with the second quarter of 2017. The median price was up nearly 9 percent.

The median price ranged from $213,000 in Jefferson County to $505,000 in Sunriver. In Bend, the largest market with 856 transactions, the median price was $425,000.

Prices continue to be driven by a lack of supply and plenty of buyers coming from more expensive markets, said Carla Powell, principal broker at Fred Real Estate Group. Retirees are a big driver of the market, Powell said. “That’s why you can’t find a single-level home with a master on main,” she said.

Powell said she still has many buyers from California, including one willing to pay $600,000 for a second home in Bend, but also many from the Portland area. They’re looking to downsize and will consider buying in one of Central Oregon’s smaller, less expensive towns, she said.

Buyers looking outside Bend appear to be finding southern Deschutes County. The median price in La Pine/Three Rivers South was $260,000 in the quarter ended June 30, up 8 percent from $240,000 the same time a year ago. But the volume of transactions was down, also 8 percent, to 157 homes sold.

Nationwide, existing home sales slipped in June, according to the National Association of Realtors, stemming from a lack of supply driving up prices.

The same trend was seen in Bend, where the median price, $425,000, is about 8 percent higher than the same time last year, according to the Central Oregon Association of Realtors report. There were 856 transactions in the Bend area, down 5.6 percent from the second quarter 2017.

The Central Oregon report is prepared by ECONorthwest, a Portland consultant. The data reflects all residential sales, including condominiums and manufactured homes.

ECONorthwest has also created a repeat-sales price index for Central Oregon, which shows the relative value of a home over time. It does not include new construction. The repeat-sales price index was 141.3 in 2017, compared to a base value of 100. The index value for the first and second quarter of 2018 was not available Monday.

The pace of growth in the index has slowed, ECONorthwest found, from 13.1 percent in 2017 to 12.4 percent in the combined first and second quarters of 2018.

— Reporter: 541-617-7860, kmclaughlin@bendbulletin.com