Bend area ranks 10th for home-price increase

Report shows prices up 11.25 percent year over year

By Joseph Ditzler / The Bulletin / @josefditzler

The Bend area dropped to 10th place nationally in December on the list of metro areas with the greatest annual increases in home prices, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.

Housing prices grew by 11.25 percent in the area from the fourth quarter 2013 to the same period in 2014, according to an FHFA report released Thursday.

The Bend-Redmond Metropolitan Statistical Area, which comprises all of Deschutes County, ranked eighth on that list out of 276 metro areas in both the second and third quarters of 2014.

House prices have climbed 28.51 percent in the Bend-Redmond area over five years, according to the report.

In Bend, the median price of single-family home increased in January to $322,000 after a seasonal dip to $290,000 in December, according to a February report by the Beacon Appraisal Group. The median price in Redmond reached $218,000 in January, up from $189,000 the month before, the group reported.

Overall, house prices in the U.S. rose 1.4 percent in the last three months of 2014, according to the FHFA. Year over year, prices were up 4.9 percent.

“The key drivers of appreciation over the last few years — low inventories of homes available for sale and improvement in labor markets — likely played a role in driving up prices during the quarter,” FHFA Principal Economist Andrew Leventis stated in a news release accompanying the report.

Deschutes County added more than 3,000 jobs in 2014, the strongest gains in employment since 2006, according to the Oregon Employment Department. In August, the median price of a single-family home in Bend reached $325,000, according to Beacon. Afterward, the pace of home sales in Bend slowed, according to the same report. Redmond experienced a similar trend.

Prices increased in all but two states, according to the FHFA report. Oregon ranked 11th in 2014 with a 6.74 percent gain. The District of Columbia ranked No. 1 with a 12.53 percent increase. Vermont occupied the bottom, with a 2.03 percent decline in house prices, the FHFA reported.

The Merced, California, MSA saw the greatest increase in house prices year over year of any metro area in the nation at 14.84 percent. The Macon, Georgia, MSA occupied the bottom position with a 1.40 percent decline, the FHFA reported.