Bea Leach of John L. Scott is a real estate veteran – as her 25 years in the industry and 17 years in Redmond attest. “We are very excited about current market conditions in Redmond. The market has stabilized and prices are moving up! Appraisals are coming in at or above asking price. Redmond is more affordable than Bend. Inventory is down as our days on the market,” (132 days in 2013 vs. 122 days YTD in 2014).
Corey Clark of Century 21 Gold Country Realty in Redmond agrees. “Market conditions are steadily improving. Prices in Bend have skyrocketed. There is better value and inventory to explore in Redmond. When Bend get’s pricey and inventories become low – Redmond rocks.”
Windermere’s principal broker in Redmond, Diana Barker (a 33 year Redmond real estate industry pro) adds, “There’s no doubt in my mind this is going to be a very busy year in Redmond in many areas – real estate included. Overall economic conditions are favorable and there is lots of pent up demand. In some price ranges – like under $200,000 – there is more demand than supply and that will continue. Before this year is over, I think there will be little available under $200,000. A well staged and prepared home is selling quickly for top dollar in all price ranges, and multiple offers are frequent. When the sun comes out in Central Oregon, housing inventory goes quickly.”
Here’s a summary of what the numbers say for the Redmond residential real estate market for the first quarter ending 3/31/2014, as provided by Leach:
• 110 units closed and sold in zip code 97756 (includes Eagle Crest as well as condos and townhomes).
• There are 64 residential sales pending (have not closed) in zip code 97756 at March 31, 2014.
• The City of Redmond has issued 40 new residential building permits in Q-1 2014 vs. 23 during the same period in 2013.
• 17 undeveloped residential lots have sold in zip code 97756 during Q-1 2014.
There are approximately 250 active listings in zip code 97756 at March 31, 2014.
What are the buyer characteristics? According to Leach, “30 percent are first-time home buyers, 25 percent are regional resident buyers stepping up to a better home, 30 percent of buyers are residents outside of central Oregon, while the remaining 25 percent are buyers who cannot find a suitable property in Bend.”
Clark observes, “We are seeing out of area buyers from the Willamette Valley, Washington, California and the east coast of the U.S.”
On the mortgage financing front in Redmond, Judy McClurg – senior mortgage banker at Pacific Residential Mortgage, LLC in Redmond says, “Get pre-qualified. Now! Build a plan with an experienced, licensed mortgage broker. Rates are actually very competitive, particularly when you look at rates seven or eight years ago. Underwriting is loosening up and there are a myriad of mortgage finance programs available. Prospective buyers need to come in and get educated about the current reality.”
McClurg says there are FHA programs that require a minimum of 3.5 percent down, USDA programs with zero down options, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and VA programs with zero down options, the NHF down payment assistance program, and Rural Home Living program for properties with some agriculture use.
Mortgage financing – from the Redmond realtor’s perspective, is characterized by Barker, “Financing rules have changed dramatically and as we get used to them, our clients are more successful getting loans closed. We still run into a buzz saw once in a while. Underwriters are not flexible and their reasons for turning down some loans are puzzling. There is plenty of money available and a veritable plethora of loan programs, but you have to be willing to follow guidelines to get it. This is no time to try to bend the rules. They do not bend.”
Redmond Commercial Market
New Commercial Projects Include:
1. BasX Solutions, – a new industrial manufacturer will be remodeling and then occupying the Old Wal Mart on S Hwy. 97 and Yew Avenue.
2. New Rite Aid, similar to the size and scale of a Walgreen. Rite Aid has plans to start construction this year. It will be located on Hwy. 126/ Highland Avenue.
3. New Dairy Queen – Located on South Hwy. 97 at Odem Medo. This is a complete remodel of the former Bank of the Cascades building.
4. COCC’s Technology Education Center is scheduled to be completed this year in Redmond.
Madras-Culver Residential Market
In the Madras-Culver area, Bill Bellamy of Coldwell-Banker Dick Dodson Realty (18 years) remarks on the single family residential market, “Sales are up, prices are up and people are actively looking. We expect market conditions to be very favorable through the fall of 2014. We have a broad range of inventory for buyers to explore.”
• Listings have increased to 39 at March 31, 2014 vs. 4 at March 31, 2013 (single family residential).
• There have been 31 sales during Q-1 2014 in the Madras-Culver market that total $3,899,413 vs. 22 sales for $2,878,550 during Q-1 2013.
• Days on market have improved dramatically from 290 in Q-1 2013 to 135 in Q-1 2014.
• Current prices for irrigated farmland have increased approximately $1,000 per acre vs. 2013 prices.
Barker summarizes the optimism attributed to the Redmond real estate market stating, “As long as everything stays reasonably normal on the national scene, I see full speed ahead. There is a more tangible basis for optimism this year than previously. People smarter than me have been telling us how much housing prices have risen and the numbers vary greatly by segment. I just know they are going up strongly. I know we will beat the averages.”