Less than a month’s worth of homes were up for sale in Bend in December, making for a strong sellers market, according to the monthly Beacon Report for Central Oregon.

Bend averages about two or three months’ worth of homes for sale, according to the Beacon Report, which is produced by the Beacon Appraisal Group of Redmond. Now those inventory numbers are less than a month.

The short supply of houses is not likely to change given low interest rates and the attractiveness of Central Oregon for people, said Donnie Montagner, owner of the Beacon Appraisal Group of Redmond.

“The big picture is that there was a high jump in prices in June and July,” Montagner said. “A jump in the million-dollar priced properties are influencing this median sales price. As the number of sales go down, the prices go down too.”

December ended the year with the median sales price at $524,000 in Bend, $84,000 more than the same period the year before, according to the Beacon Report.

The market landscape today is different than it was a few months ago, said Jim Birtola, owner of Team Birtola, a Central Oregon real estate company. Real estate professionals have to prime their buyers to present clean offers without contingencies and to be prepared to offer prices higher than the asking price, Birtola said.

“It’s a moving target,” Birtola said. “You have to set up your buyer to win. And it’s a moving target for sellers.”

In Redmond, the median sales price in December was $375,000, up $50,000 from the same time the year before. Redmond traditionally has a more stable housing market, Montagner said.

The Beacon Report uses the median sales price, which is the midpoint value of all transactions in a month.

“Bend just doesn’t have the inventory,” Montagner said. “That seems to be the biggest issue is inventory.

“There’s a diversity of product in Bend, and Bend is more attractive.”

In December, the median single-family home sales price was $635,000 in Sunriver, $392,000 in Sisters and $325,000 in La Pine, according to the report.

“Bend is the hub and it’s always been attractive because of the diversity of everything: restaurants and culture.

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