We have known for the last several years that the increased demand for Bend housing has pushed prices upward. The cost of a single family home has gone up 11% over the last year to almost $200 per foot while the amount of available inventory has dropped over 20%; the average price of a single family Bend home is now $389,725 (COAR MLS statistics). People continue to move to Bend, loving the Central Oregon lifestyle. However, we are now at a place where the price to live here can exceed the budget of many locals. How did we reach this situation? Bend is not the only American community experiencing a housing crisis. According to Lawrence Yun, the National Association of Realtors® chief economist, 3 million American homes which should have been built over the last 6 years were not. These 3 million homes were the minimum amount needed to keep up with the country’s growing population but they were not built, mostly due to banking’s hesitation to finance new construction during the economic recession. The number of new homes being built in Bend continue to lag behind the population growth. Although financing requirements for new construction have improved, Bend is limited in the amount of available land. And until the expansion of the urban growth boundary is resolved, we cannot foresee housing prices stabilizing anytime soon.
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