Feast or Famine

Well, there is no doubt the market is in a bit of a transitional state. By that, we don’t necessarily mean “real estate bubble” or agree with the doom and gloom some economists are projecting. The balance is certainly healthier and as inventory levels rise and interest rates shift to a more “normal” range, the level of activity remains steady. 

Entry-level buyers (those spending $450k and under) seem to be the most impacted by the interest rates, knowing a shift of just 1% can influence their affordability. When the rates initially took a jump, many people thought it would halt the activity in that particular price range but in actuality, just the opposite occurred. Buyers who are payment-sensitive were making quicker decisions, and in many cases, compromising on what they thought they “had to have” and shifting their mindsets to “this will work.” We hate to think they settled because it never felt like they weren’t buying something they didn’t like; it just felt as though they re-prioritized what they previously considered their non-negotiables.  

In our experience, the stock market decline impacted the mid-range buyers the most and, in many cases, gave pause to those who were considering homes under $1.2 million. In our experience, those who were looking at $500k-$750k were now concerned they didn’t have the nest egg they once had and got more conservative with spending 20-30% of their cash as a down payment so they just sat tight. A handful of homes in that range went pending within a week or so of listing but dozens just sat and for no real justifiable reason. 

For the first time in a long time, the highest price points ($1.5m to $5m) are seeing consistent activity and many going under contract. It’s a head scratcher but reassuring to see there never really seems to be a bad time to invest in Southern Oregon real estate.  

Our community, coupled with our climate, is still enticing people to do life here. As of the day I am writing this, searching back four months, there are seven properties under contract in the Rogue Valley between $1,550,000 and $4,800,000. In that same time frame, five properties ranging from $1,660,000 to $2,400,000 have closed escrow.  

It wasn’t all that long ago for a seller in these price ranges to wait years for an offer. Of the pending properties, all but one were on less than 60 days, the outlier with 161 days on market was priced the highest at $4.8m. 

For the aforementioned higher end closed properties, three of them were listed less than two weeks before going under contract. 

It goes without saying if you believe everything you hear on the news, at the local coffee shop, and on social media you’re doing yourself an incredible disservice. Now more than ever, it’s invaluable to align yourselves with the experts in their industry. Lean on your Realtor for sound advice and consult with them on strategies to reach your goals and then, believe them. We take great pride in being active participants in the lives of our clients particularly as they are setting and achieving goals. If we don’t think the current real estate climate is conducive to the result you are after, you can count on us for candor and diplomacy.  

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DeAnna Sickler & Dyan Lane

DeAnna Sickler and Dyan Lane, Brokers 320 E. Main St. Ashland OR 97520 541-414-4663

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