There are some positive signs for Central Oregon’s real estate market. Notices of default were down last year in Deschutes County. That’s the first yearly decline in four years.
A notice of default is usually the first step on the road to foreclosure. Those numbers started to pick up in 2007 and seemed to just keep on going.
Last year, that run ended. The latest figures show defaults declined by 37 percent compared to 2010. That’s welcome news to people like Kathy Ragsdale. She’s the CEO and President of the Central Oregon Association of Realtors.
But Ragsdale cautions the numbers may not mean the market is bouncing back. Some observers say the banks may be holding onto foreclosed properties, to keep from flooding the market and depressing prices further.
“If they’re actually having less that they’re foreclosing on, that’s wonderful. But if there’s a backup inventory that we haven’t seen yet, we might not see that much of an inventory in the market until that inventory is depleted,” Ragsdale said.
Ragsdale says the decline in defaults doesn’t appear to correspond with an increase in sales. She says the sale of single family properties in that same time frame dipped slightly compared to the year prior.