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October Market Update

With a little more than a month to go until the holiday season starts and winter sets in, we should not close the door on 2023 just yet. Fall always brings real estate activity as those who didn’t get settled in the summer aim to make their move before the holidays. Although the number of transactions is still historically low and interest rates remain persistently high, there are still signs of strength in this market. Let’s take a look at what is happening in the market and what that can tell us about what to expect as we approach the end of the year.

Median/Average Price 

Despite a few months this year where the median moved in excess of 5%, from August to September, the median actually remained fairly steady. The median now stands at $765,000 for single-family homes in Bend, and despite being below the highs from June, we are up about 8% for the year. It’s worth noting that this pattern of the median falling in August, only to tick up slightly in September, has occurred in each of the last three years.

Our State of the Market report from August discussed some of the reasons for the wide swings in the median price. Here, we would like to take a different direction and briefly discuss the average home price in Bend. As a reminder, the median represents the midpoint of a range, with half the sales happening above and half below. It’s worth mentioning that the median peaked in February 2022 and is currently about 9% below those levels. However, the average home price in Bend is now at $943,500, which is only about 1.5% below the highs from February 2022.

What we can gather from this is that, although more homes are changing hands at slightly lower levels, there is still activity in the upper end of the market, which is helping to maintain a higher average price.

Days on Market (DOM)

This is another statistic that has fluctuated throughout 2023. We have seen the median days on the market as high as 53 and as low as 8. Clearly, this is the result of a small number of transactions being affected by some extreme days on the market, either low or high. For this reason, the average days on the market provide a clearer picture and currently stand at 32 days. Although we are still well below the historical norms of 40-60 DOM, it is a much healthier market when buyers have more than a few days to make a decision.

Please keep in mind that, although the average is right around 1 month, there are still about 28% of the current pending sales happening in less than a week. It is also worth noting that homes in different price categories generally have different averages, with homes at the lower end of the range usually selling faster than homes at the upper end of the range. An example of this is that although 28% of current sales went pending in a week, that statistic jumps to 45% in the sub $600k category.

New Listings

The number one thing that continues to challenge buyers is the lack of inventory. Generally, we see the highest number of new listings occurring in the Spring and early summer, with a fairly steady drop-off throughout the rest of the year. Although we witnessed some strength in new listings in August, both locally and nationally, we have seen a significant drop-off with 27% fewer listings in September 2023 compared to the same month last year.

Without new options for buyers, this could exert upward pressure on prices. One trend we’ve noticed over the past few weeks is that an increasing number of sellers are choosing not to list on the MLS as we head into the offseason. These homes won’t appear in MLS searches but may be available and simply waiting for a “better” time to list. We highly recommend a conversation to determine if this strategy makes sense for you. For some, it makes perfect sense, while for others, it could mean missing a great opportunity to stand out in a less competitive market.

Pending Sales 

The other half of the inventory problem is that homes are still going pending at decent levels compared to the number of homes available. Although we saw 25% fewer new listings in September than in August, we only observed 5% fewer pending sales. This means that despite fewer options coming to the market, buyers still appear eager to make purchases. This aligns with what we have observed from our clients, indicating that people have grown tired of waiting for rates or prices to come down and have decided to move forward with their lives, find a home they love, and possibly refinance later.

As we have mentioned before, people generally buy homes for a variety of reasons, such as new jobs, new schools, marriages, divorces, growing families, or downsizing. Delaying these life changes to try to time the market perfectly often doesn’t make sense. While seasonally, we would expect pending sales to decline during the winter, there may be a buildup of people who have been on the sidelines for a while and are now ready to enter the market. This could work to their advantage, as some sellers may become more motivated as winter approaches.

Average Sale to List Price

To build upon the idea that seller motivation has been growing ever so slightly, let’s examine the average sale-to-list price ratio. Currently, the average sale is now at 98.6% of the list price, down from 99% in August. By comparison, the average sale in September of the previous year was also at 99% of the list price. However, it’s worth noting that the lowest point for this average last year was in November, at 97.5%. So, if this year follows a similar pattern, we may see an average of 97% reached by the end of the year. This falls right in line with historical averages of 96-98%. Therefore, while there are some homes that negotiate for lower percentages, it’s not the norm.

Some other points to consider…

Mortgage Changes: We have seen rates tick up overall over the last few weeks and for most borrowers, sit in the mid 7% range. Some buyers are still buying down the rates to get them to more manageable levels, but there are pros and cons to this strategy. We recommend that you talk to your lender about all the available options. If you are curious where rates are at today, you can see a live update here.

Inflation: This monthly data is what helps dictate the course of action of the Federal Reserve Bank and what they do with the interbank lending rates (not mortgage rates). This chart shows that inflation is coming back down and well off its highs, but still well short of the Fed’s target of 2%.

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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Our agents write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the local area.