Population, home prices and jobs are on the rise!
No doubt about it, Bend is a hot place to live and work right now. Population growth is booming, housing prices are rising and robust job growth is pushing unemployment down. The latest economic stats show the Central Oregon economy seems to be in full recovery.
Bend population continues to increase
According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s population estimates released in March, Deschutes County’s population is 175,268 – seventh highest in the state.
The county clocked a net population gain of 17,535 between April 2010 and July 2015, a growth rate of over 11%. Home prices in the Bend-Redmond Metropolitan Statistical Area increased 12.24% over the course of 2015. Sale prices in metro Bend increased 56.68% over the past five years.
Deschutes County employers added 530 jobs in February -- a banner year for job growth. February numbers from the Oregon Employment Dept. show employment levels up by 4,350 jobs from February 2015, a gain of 6.2%. Fast job growth drove the county's unemployment rate down to 5.1%.
Deschutes County's rapid pace of job growth makes it one of the fastest growing economies in the nation. The fastest growing industry over the past year was information, at 13.9% (220 new jobs). The greatest numerical increase was seen in retail trade (700 new jobs).
Daimler Trucks launches R&D center
Daimler Trucks North America has broken ground on an $18 million research and development center near the Madras Airport. Covering 87 acres, the proving ground will include two 16-acre test track loops and buildings covering 31,000 sq ft. Completion is expected by early 2017.
Grocery, retail building planned for La Pine
A 27,000-sq ft building in La Pine that will house a discount grocer and discount retailer is planned for completion next January. The La Pine project will displace the High Lakes Feed store, which under new ownership, is moving to larger quarters nearby and renamed Weaver's High Lakes Feed.
Major retail center on Bend's horizon
A mixed-use complex is planned on 51 acres near Cascade Village Shopping Center at the north edge of Bend. The complex will be anchored by Bend's second Fred Meyer grocery and department store. Other components include a hotel and senior living center.
School board OKs $8m in upgrades
The Bend-La Pine School Board has authorized expenditure of $8 million for a variety of improvements at four schools in Bend and La Pine and the district office in Bend. Funds are covered by a $96 million bond issue approved by voters in 2013. Completion is scheduled for the fall of 2017.
Land secured for La Pine clinic
St. Charles Health System will build a clinic in La Pine on a two-acre parcel to be donated by Deschutes County.
Phoenix flights coming in June
Non-stop daily flights between Roberts Field in Redmond and Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix will begin June 2. American Airlines will serve the route with 67-passenger Bombardier CRJ-700 regional jet aircraft. American's Phoenix hub connects to 81 locations in four countries.
Central Oregon's growth is happening fast enough to make your head spin. All this job and economic development brings exciting opportunities. If you or someone you know is thinking about moving to Bend, give me a call for information about the Central Oregon real estate market at 541-410-3645 or firstname.lastname@example.org