Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bend bottoms out

I've been out of town for a week and unable to blog, but on my return I see that Bend is a national leader again - in home depreciation.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency reports that the Bend area endured the largest decline in housing prices from the first quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year. It fell a whopping 23.03 percent. (See page 30 of PDF file from the FHFA)

We edged out the always delightful Madera-Chowchilla, Calif., area for top spot.

This news comes on the heels that housing permits here rose in the first three months of 2010, while the number of days a home spent on the market fell. These last two stats were anomalies because of government assistance. That aid is ending and the housing market should see more declines even during the busy summer selling season.

More homeowners will put their homes on the market in the next couple of months, which will further depress prices.

There will be good buys out there for existing homes and almost no reason to buy a brand new home. Our median price has dropped from a high of nearly $400,000 three years ago to about $180,000 today.

Still, it looks like we're in for bumpy ride until at least the first quarter of next year.

Stay tuned.

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