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April Real Estate Market Update

We have had yet another month of data showing signs of a stubbornly strong market; yet, there are signs that market stabilization continues to take place. We have seen inventory growing, days on market dropping, prices continuing to increase, and building permits remaining steady. What does all of this mean as we head into what is historically the busiest couple of months? Let’s dissect the data to understand it better.

Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates continue to be one of the biggest factors affecting both buyers and sellers. They have remained in the high 6% range for the first portion of the year, but in recent weeks, they have ticked back up above 7%. This increase is due to changes in inflation numbers, prompting the Federal Reserve to adjust its indications from a potential rate drop in the coming meetings to a likelihood later in the year. Although the rates the Fed controls differ from mortgage rates, the sentiment expressed in the Fed’s comments tends to affect the market and bond yields, which in turn impacts mortgage rates.

Here is a snapshot of what interest rates have looked like over the past year. As you can see, we are almost exactly where we were at this time last year.

With rates at these levels and prices remaining high (we will get to this in a second), affordability has become extremely low. This scenario makes it very difficult for buyers to afford a new purchase, and in some cases, rents may be lower than a mortgage payment. The tricky part here is that opting for the cheaper monthly option forces some buyers to miss out on the many benefits of owning, such as appreciation and tax deductions. If you find yourself in this scenario, we strongly recommend discussing your options with a lender and your agent to ensure you are making the best overall decision.

Median Price 

As we head into the prime spring sales months (April through June or July), we historically see the median price tick up. In fact, if history is any indication, one of the next three months is likely to set the high-water mark for the median price this year. In March, the median price increased by about 10% from the previous month. Does this mean that prices went up by 10%? Not necessarily. Considering that the median is the midpoint in the range of sales for any given month, we can attribute the rise in the median to two primary factors. The first is that increased demand during spring, when most buyers are active, tends to push prices higher. The second reason is the higher percentage of more expensive homes on the market and selling during this period. We won’t delve into all the reasons why more expensive homes are listed and sell at this time of year, but it’s important to note that having more homes at the higher end of the price spectrum selling will skew the median upward. We have repeatedly cautioned over the past couple of years to be wary of interpreting significant jumps in the median price, as shifts in price points can have a much larger impact when the number of transactions remains relatively low. With a larger dataset, small shifts in price point and activity don’t have nearly the same effect.

Days on Market (DOM)

As expected, the days on market fell this past month, with the median decreasing from about 40 days to about 20 days. We had anticipated this decrease, expecting that continued increases in demand would play a significant role. Another contributing factor was the performance of the housing market as described in our last update: 37% of the homes that were pending had received offers within less than 7 days—a notable increase from 27% the previous month. Most of these homes closed over the last month, which significantly lowered the median days on market. Given that 33% of the pending sales this month were finalized in less than 7 days, compared to a normal monthly average of about 23%, we expect the days on market to remain low.

Pending Sales 

As with many of the metrics discussed above, pending sales seasonally tick up at this time of year. This year, the uptick started in December, hasn’t let up, and we expect it to continue until mid-summer. In Bend, there were 160 pending sales in March, up from 133 in February, and almost exactly the same as in March 2023. There is steady demand month after month, which signifies that buyers remain in the market and willing to purchase despite higher interest rate levels. We mentioned this last time, but based on recent conversations with our clients, we think it is worth repeating. One factor we have consistently observed over the past year is buyers waiting for a prompt to take action. For example, many buyers fear overpaying and prefer to wait for validation that prices are reasonable. When they see properties selling in a specific area or at a specific price point, they receive confirmation that they are not alone, boosting their confidence and, consequently, sales. As mentioned earlier, with properties going pending within a week 33% of the time currently, our expectation is that buyers will receive the validation they need, indicating that the market remains steady.

New Listings

As we expected, the number of new listings continues to tick up. In Bend, we saw 222 new listings in March, up from 145 in February and 217 last March. This is a significant increase in new homes coming to market. Although it was met with a larger number of pending sales as well, the increase in new listings outpaced pending sales, thus overall inventory grew. This uptick in inventory is expected and a sign of a good, healthy market. Buyers need options, and there needs to be some competition between sellers to help keep prices in check. If you are a seller and see the number of homes increasing, please remember that it isn’t always a bad thing. Many buyers have been wanting to see more options to ensure they aren’t missing out on anything, and when they see new ones come on the market, it can often spark them to act on a house that has been on the market for a bit.

Some other points to consider…

Sale to List Price: This has remained steady and is currently at an average of 98.6% of list price. For perspective, the median sale to list price is 100%. 

Inflation: We touched on this earlier, but thought including the chart here would allow you to see and track this as well. 

Building Permits: This helps us track what to expect in terms of new construction that may be in the pipeline. In March this number was almost identical to what it was in Feb. This means that the jump last month was not an anomaly and builders remain active.

We hope you find this information valuable and that it helps you towards your ultimate real estate goals. If you have any questions about this month’s content or would like to dive a little deeper into the data, please reach out to your Ladd Group broker. If you don’t have one, you can reach me at or on my cell at 541-280-2132. 

There are also several ways to reach the team, so please let us know how we can help. 

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