High interest rates do not deter Sisters homebuyers
Last updated 3/28/2023 at Noon
Sisters Country has seen a decline in real single-family home sales this quarter as compared to last, as has the entire U.S. home market. However, the unit slowdown in Sisters is considerably less than nationally, and values are still strong.
In 2022, 32 homes sold in January with a total value of $20.57 million. The average home price was $842,156 (eight were over $1 million) and the median price, a truer gauge of the market, was $749,500. Sold homes averaged $287 per square foot.
This January the number dropped precipitously to only 10 homes sold for a total of $9.89 million. This was the worst January in years, realtors told The Nugget. Only one went for over a million dollars — a whopping $4 million, which exaggerated the already poor January showing. The median price also declined to $658,995, a sign of tough times ahead for home sellers.
For 2022, 13 homes transacted for $10.65 million. January and February are usually the low watermarks for Sisters home sales. Four of those homes exceeded $1 million and the median price came in at $624,975 and registered at $399 per square foot, a more usual range.
This February rebounded from January’s dismal showing with 20 homes closing for $15.1 million in value, three exceeding $1 million. The median price rose by $100,000 to $722,896, close to the 2022 historical average. The average per square foot also dropped, to $355.
Through the first 25 days of March 2022, there were 35 completed sales, a very strong showing, adding up to $26.18 million. Five priced over $1 million and the median was $725,000. Homes sold at $402 per square foot.
This March, through the 25th, 20 homes closed for $15.09 million and, as in 2022, five fetched $1 million-plus. The median remains hefty at $722,896 with $355 per average square foot.
One would think that there is a big rise in home availability. Not so, realtors say. The number of homes on the market is roughly the same as last year. The first quarter just ended saw a large number of new homes sold in ClearPine and Hayden’s McKenzie Meadow Village. Both subdivisions are nearly sold out now, taking dozens of homes off the market in the last few months.
Some homeowners, sensing the ongoing shortage of homes in Sisters, plan to hit the market soon as winter wanes and peak sales season opens.
Homes under $500,000 are what roughly count as “affordable” for first-time home buyers or buyers whose combined household income is under $100,000. No home in January came in under $500,000. Only one in February and four thus far in March met that test.
For the quarter, only 10 homes were between $500,000 and $600,000, the sweet spot for attracting a larger number of buyers.
Sales of second or vacation homes have slowed considerably, realtors reported, but there are still a good number of buyers. Black Butte Ranch remains “hot” as the number of available homes is comparatively low. A 1,352-square-foot A-frame cottage at the Ranch sold in January 2020 for $380,000 and sold again two months ago for $830,000.
A two-bedroom, two-bath vacation home in ClearPine was finished and purchased last July for $599,000 and sold this March for $605,000. On West Hill Avenue, a three-bedroom, two-bath, 1,058-square-foot home purchased in September of 2020 for $291,875 sold two weeks ago for $430,000. Home sellers are still getting good prices for their homes, even as the market in general has cooled.
High interest rates
Interest rates for 30-year fixed mortgages have hovered around 7.1 percent for months now, double the 3.22 percent rate of a year ago. That has been a contributing factor — a big one — to the overall decline in home sales. Yet in Sisters, cash is still aplenty. Cascade Hasson Sotheby’s International Realty has five all-cash deals in their East Cascade office awaiting closing.
Buyers are choosier now as compared to the frenzy of last summer, and bidding wars are rare. But until some planned new developments come online it is still considered a seller’s market in Sisters. Realtors don’t appear to be panicking.
What’s for sale?
There are currently just over 50 listings in all of Sisters Country, 17 of which are in excess of $1 million. Twenty are under $600,000 and only one is under $400,000.