Realtors see that the housing crisis is very apparent on a daily basis. Articles published on the subject of affordable housing are often based on cities much larger than Bend, but the principal causes are similar.
The common problem is lack of affordable housing for lower and middle income wage earners. According to a recent article in Realtor magazine, rents in 2015 rose six percent nationally, the highest rate in seven years, which is three times the average wage growth. If supply is not keeping up with demand for new housing units, housing inventories will continue to decrease and rents and home prices will rise.
Some interesting ideas came out this week from New York and Palo Alto, addressing the affordable housing crisis. The Palo Alto City Council has voted to study a proposal to subsidize middle class housing, which is defined as families earning $150,000 to $250,000 per year. The plan is to build smaller downtown units along with mixed use retail and residential units for people who live near public transit and don't own cars. The article states that lots with small two bedroom/one bath homes are worth between $1.5 and $2 million in one neighborhood as teardowns. In Bend, teardown homes in the downtown area sell in the same price range as new mid-range homes, which are unaffordable to many who work downtown, as renters or homeowners.
In the meantime, New York has unveiled a plan that would require builders to keep one in every four apartments built in designated areas as affordable. In return, the city would provide incentives to private developers such as loosening zoning restrictions and other benefits.
It will be interesting to see if these proposals are approved and how they work out. It's indicative of how serious our affordable housing problem is nationwide. Though the situation in Bend is not as extreme as these cities, we have many of the same issues with an unmet need for affordable housing for middle class workers.
Home Price Round-up
204 SE Roosevelt Ave, Bend, OR 97702
2 beds, 1 bath, 938 square feet,
.14 acre lot | Built in 1945
Listed by John L Scott Central Oregon Redmond
1508 NE 6th St, Bend, OR 97701
3 beds, 1.5 baths, 1984 square feet,
.17 acre lot | Built in 1956
Listed by The Broker Network of Central Oregon
3437 NW Greenleaf Way, Bend, OR 97703
3 beds, 3.5 baths, 3651 square feet
1.03 acre lot | Built in 2008
Listed by Brooks Resources Realty
Photos and listing info from Central Oregon Multiple Listing Service