If you are looking for a house to rent in Bend, you are not alone. Combine this with a current vacancy rate of 0.5% and there isn’t a lot to choose from. The reason behind this is supply and demand. The supply of rental homes is diminishing and with more people moving to Central Oregon there is a lot of demand.
The reason for the diminishing supply is that many of the rental homes have been rental homes only out of necessity. When the economy slumped, many people found themselves out of work and had to move to find jobs. With the prices of homes less then what they owed they were unable to sell. So they had to rent out their homes here until a time came when the value came back up for them to sell. Well after the great appreciation that we saw in a lot of the homes here in 2013, many of these displaced people are able to sell. So now all those renters that were living in those homes are in the market for a new rental along with anybody else moving to town or moving out of their parents houses.
Now with a vacancy rate of 0.5%, one would normally see an opportunity for investors to come in and buy rental property to meet this demand. The problem is the prices of the homes in the areas where everyone wants to rent are too expensive to make it worthwhile to an investor with our current market rents. So we will probably see an increase in the market rents even higher than we have already seen. Already I have seen several renters turn into home owner because they couldn’t find anything to rent and with the higher rents it made more sense for the to buy.