As the year draws to a close, the closed transaction data begins to paint a picture of what the new year may have in store for the housing market. This week, I will focus on single-family homes on a county-by-county basis. In the coming weeks, I will dive deeper into the individual cities of Central Oregon to provide you with more specific information to illustrate the year-over-year changes.
This morning in Deschutes County, there are 709 single-family listings, a drop of forty-one since last week. This week last year showed 745 active listings in Deschutes County, indicating that our supply-constrained market will continue. Available inventory will be a solid leading indicator for home prices as the 2024 market shapes up. Fifty-seven sales are pending, and forty-seven sold at a median sale price of $748,240. Year-to-date 2022, there were 3984 sales compared to 2993 this year. While 2023 sales volume reflects a -24.9 % decline, the median sale price has only dropped -2.64%. The median sale price has narrowed as the year progressed, with buyers seeing year-over-year median sale price declines in the high 5% range in the first half of 2023.
Interestingly, the housing market reacts more to abrupt changes than actual numbers, and as mortgage interest rates began to rise late last year, many buyers pulled back, and many sellers were motivated to make a sale. Looking back, I attribute this to the uncertainty of where the market could wind up and talk of a recession that would take a significant bite out of potential sale prices in 2023. Median prices across the county are only a snapshot of the market, and individual property pricing depends on many factors. However, early this year, most buyers would not have believed that prices in Deschutes County would only decrease -2.6% across the board.
Jefferson County has eighty-one homes listed this morning, up one from last week. On this week last year, there were eighty listings, showing year-over-year stability. Zero properties were placed under contract last week, with five sales at a median of 605k. Year-to-date sales are 197, down from 299 in 2022, a drop of -34.1%. The median sale price dropped from 400k to 390k, -2.5%. While the price drop in Jefferson County is in line with Deschutes County, and the inventory is stable, the more considerable reduction in sales volume could be a sign of prices softening heading into 2024. The median price reduction has increased to -6.07% from -4.07% in 2022. Every property throughout Central Oregon has unique circumstances, but double-digit price reductions were more common in Jefferson County this year than in many other regions. The metric to watch that will drive future prices in Jefferson County will be sales volume compared to 2023. A further reduction from this year's lows will motivate sellers to take advantage of any offer, softening prices. Substantial sales volume would have the opposite effect.
Crook County's inventory declined by five to 135 active listings this morning. This week last year, Crook County had 132 active listings. Sales year-to-date are 339, down 17.5% from 2022's 411, the smallest drop in sales volume in all three counties of Central Oregon. This year's median sale price is 449k, down from 465k last year. Crook County, minus the sales from Brasada Ranch, shows 310 sales in 2023 from 379 in 2022, a drop of 18.2%. The median sale price has remained remarkably stable, only dropping four thousand dollars to today's 440k, a reduction of .9%. Brasada Ranch sales declined by three, with twenty-nine so far this year. While the sales decline is marginal, the median sale price increased slightly to $1.3M, up 1.4%. The combination of desirability and low inventory in Crook County, including Brasada Ranch, are strong leading indicators of price stability heading into 2024.
Days on the market have increased, returning to more typical marketing times. Desirable homes continue to sell quickly, but opportunities are available for the homes lingering, especially during the off-season before the market picks up again this coming spring.
Rising interest rates have a lag effect on the markets, and there is every reason to believe the rapid rate increases of the last year have yet to impact the market entirely. Wall Street, to date, has priced in future rate decreases, although lately, more bank CEOs are accepting that Jerome Powell means it when he said rates will remain higher for longer. Recent relief in mortgage interest rates is welcome news for buyers, but the question remains if this is a blip along the way or the beginning of a pivot. The talk of recession has changed direction so many times over the last few months that it is dizzying. Economic data shows reasons to be concerned, alongside much optimistic data. Some analysts feel we are balancing on a precipice, while others believe the market is ready to accelerate. Without significantly more inventory, lagging sales, and increased days on the market, home prices in Central Oregon are unlikely to change drastically. Unlike our local trends, the national housing market is experiencing more inventory and decreased prices. Admittedly, significant economic downfall can apply pressure to housing rapidly. I encourage buyers to take a long-term view of housing. Short-term fluctuations in home prices have had little impact over the long-term rise in home prices, and a quick look at the Case-Schiller Home Price Index illustrates this clearly. In addition to these weekly reports, now is a great time to keep an eye on the Central Oregon Market Trend Reports at www.EnjoyBendLife.com/Market-Trends/, and at the bottom of that page, you will find the Home Price Index, along with more helpful economic data.
Stay tuned for a city-specific analysis of the Central Oregon Housing Market over the coming weeks!