In our industry we often have potential buyers tell us that they're going to wait to buy. Sometimes it's a nice way for people to object and sometimes it's just a decision to say no for now while they save for a down payment, improve credit or income, or wait for a change in circumstances like their kids moving from middle school to high school.
Whatever the reason, the decision has proved costly in Central Oregon over the past 9-10 years with both home prices increasing dramatically and rental prices skyrocketing to match rising home prices. Many rentals in the Bend area are nearly $3,000 per month which should make the decision to rent vs buy almost a no brainer for most folks.
While we saw a lull in the 2nd half of 2018 with higher interest rates, that ended when the Fed decided that rising rates were bad for the economy. Home sales picked right back up where they were, and renters are being left further and further behind homeowners. With a steady flow of Californians, telecommuters, and people from other parts of the country wanting a piece of the Central Oregon lifestyle, don't expect the inflow of new residents to stop anytime soon.
What does that mean for you? If you're a homeowner you can continue to expect your home to appreciate as there are more people moving here than leaving. If you're a renter you can expect the cost to rent to continue to increase and your ability to purchase will decrease with prices rising faster than wages in Central Oregon. The best time to purchase was obviously yesterday, but the next best time to purchase is today. Take a look at the graphic showing nationwide appreciation and you can see that waiting cost the average Bend renter over $25,000 last year considering the average home price here is over $400,000. The cost of waiting is an expensive one. Is it a cost you're willing to pay?