By The Associated Press
on January 27, 2013 at 6:02 PM, updated January 27, 2013 at 6:20 PM
Bend’s housing market crash has turned out to be an opportunity for several developers who have bought up more than 900 residential lots that were left undeveloped.
An examination of Deschutes County deed records shows developers picked up the majority of the lots in two dozen subdivisions between 2009 and 2012, The Bulletin reported Sunday.
In 18 of the subdivisions, the previous developer lost the properties to foreclosure after the housing market fizzled and collapsed in 2008.
The housing crash came after a frenzy of new subdivision building to accommodate a population boom in central Oregon. According to the city, 333 subdivisions were platted between 2000 and 2009, compared with 136 in the 1990s.
Property values plummeted, sparking a flurry of new activity by developers.
Chet Antonsen, owner of Group PacWest Homes in Bend, teamed up with Troutdale developer Guy Wolcott last year to purchase 53 of the 91 lots in the adjacent subdivisions Northcrest and Southcrest.
They paid $1.1 million for the lots through a short sale, or about $21,300 per lot.
“We kind of saw that we were starting to head out of the bottom” of the market several months into 2012, Antonsen said. The partnership has received building permits on nine lots in the subdivisions since March, according to Bend Community Development Department figures.
Depressed home values and low mortgage rates have led to a surge in sales on Bend homes priced at $300,000 and less, according to several developers and real estate officials.
Also in Bend’s subdivision market are Southern California investors including U.S. Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif., and Harry Crowell, a California homebuilder.
Miller and Crowell formed Long Term Bend Investors LLC in July 2009 and spent more than $6 million to buy nearly 400 home lots in seven Bend subdivisions, many out of foreclosure, according to county records.
Changes in ownership – Here is a list of subdivisions, from the Bend Bulletin, in which more than 50% of the total home lots changed ownership between 2009 and 2012: Rimrock Riders, Tuscany Pines, Brookland Park, Newport Landing, Gleneden, Millbrook Estates, Aspen Rim Phase 2, Laurel Springs, Shady Pines, South Deerfield Park, Badger Forest, South Briar, The Shire, Chase Village, Crosswinds, Eagles Landing, Breckenridge, Merrick, Mirada, Monticello Estates, McCall Landing, Quail Crossing Phase 2, Northcrest, Southcrest, Northpointe Phases 4 and 5, Parkway Village.