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'The bidding wars are out of control and it's not improving': Eugene housing market tight

The latest real estate numbers for Lane County show the average sale price of a home in Lane County over the past 12 months creeping back up toward $300,000. Meanwhile, the inventory of homes available for sale has shrunk to less than a month and a half, the lowest level since this seller's market began and the tightest inventory since at least the year 2000.

CRESWELL, Ore. - Heather White put her home on the market - and sold it 10 hours later.

"There's that little inventory right now, and a home like ours which is 4 bedrooms and 3 baths," she said.

Now her family is looking for a new home.

They might have to act fast - and spend more.

The latest real estate numbers for Lane County show the average sale price of a home in Lane County over the past 12 months creeping back up toward $300,000.

Meanwhile, the inventory of homes available for sale has shrunk to less than a month and a half, the lowest level since this seller's market began and the tightest inventory since at least the year 2000.

It's even worse in Eugene/Springfield.

Listings of homes for sale are down 16 percent compared to last year.

Sales are up 10 percent.

"So demand is up," said Marcia Edwards with Windermere Real Estate, "and supply is significantly lower."

That's driven the housing inventory in Eugene/Springfield down to 9/10ths of a month.

"Ideally we have 5 to 6 months" of inventory, she said, "and we have less than a month. That's almost a house crisis. That's a concern."

Darcy Phillips at Cornerstone Community Housing agrees.

"There are not nearly enough houses," she said. "The bidding wars are out of control and it's not improving."

Phillips is on the steering committee of a new coalition in Lane County that's looking for a path out of the crisis called Better Housing Together.

"It's not a quick fix," Edwards said, "and it does take a comprehensive look as a community on how affordable, if we want to stay affordable, to the entire community for housing."

Further complicating matters for buyers: the average sale price of homes right now is $326,000, Edwards said. The average list price of home going on the market is $482,000.

That's a $150,000 gap between what sellers want and buyers have paid.

So after selling her home in less than half a day, White and her family are off to an apartment while they hunt for a new house.

She's guardedly optimistic.

"I don't think the sellers hold all the cards," she said. "I believe that there will be more inventory from now through summer."

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