Two major economic indicators, the percentage of distressed sales and the level of cash home buyers, continue to trend toward a more normalized housing market nationally – a trend we are also seeing in the Bend real estate market as well. This week CoreLogic reported a reduction in the level of foreclosed homes at the end of 2014 to be just 552,000, down from 840,000 at the end of 2013 (34.3 % reduction). This continues the streak of reduction of foreclosed homes inventory to 38 months in a row. Also, the percentage of cash buyers in the market continues to decline from its peak, where just four years ago one out of every two homes was purchased by a cash buyer. Cash sales at the end of 2014 now make up just 36% of all home sales… a favorable trend, but…
The first wave of "boomerang buyers", those homeowners who lost their homes due to foreclosures and short sales during the 2008 real estate "crash", are now "re-entering the market" in the Bend and national real estate markets as the seven-year window passes necessary to repair their credit and again qualify for buying a home. An estimated 7.3 million boomerang buyers are expected to re-enter the US markets over the next seven years starting in 2015 and increasing each year in number through 2018 before tapering off until 2022. According to RealtyTrac, the markets most likely to see the most boomerang buyers will be those with the highest percentage of foreclosed homes along with the lowest median home prices and a largest amounts of Gen-X’rs and Baby…
Bend dropped 2 spots, but still ranks #9 among the top ski towns for real estate investing according to RealtyTrac analyst Daren Bloomquist. Starting with the top 221 ski resorts in the US according to ZRankings, the final analysis used by RealtyTrac included 7 criteria: distance to the nearest airport, unemployment, median home price, yearly price appreciation, rent yields, foreclosure rates, and that "pure awesomeness factor". Topping the list this year is the ski town of Huntsville Utah which had a median housing price of just $169,950 compared to Bend’s median home price of $249,998.
Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Lawrence Yun is projecting about a 7 percent rise in home sales in 2015. As the primary reasons for this healthy expansion, Yun points to an improving economy, solid job growth, and rising home prices. Additionally, Yun predicts more first time homebuyers entering the market due to the creation of "new mortgage products" and overall housing confidence with home pricing having risen about 25% over the past three years. However, there are potential "speed bumps" as well, including anticipated rising interest rates and lenders being slow to ease underwriting standards.
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