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MailTribune.com
  • Average selling price of existing homes jumps 8.1% countywide

  • The median sales price for existing houses in Jackson County rose 8.1 percent during the first half of 2014, compared with the same period in 2013.
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  • The median sales price for existing houses in Jackson County rose 8.1 percent during the first half of 2014, compared with the same period in 2013.
    Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service reported Thursday that the median sales price for single-family residences through June 30 was $200,000, up from $185,000 in 2013. In 2004, the county median price was $196,900.
    Twelve of 13 market areas showed gains, and eight regions — Phoenix, Jacksonville, west Medford, southwest Medford, White City, Eagle Point, Shady Cove and Gold Hill/Rogue River — had double-digit median gains over the first half of 2013. Only Talent showed a decline, and it was a matter of $250, or 1.6 percent, on 37 sales during the period.
    Scott Lewis, SOMLS president-elect and an agent with John L. Scott Real Estate in Ashland, said there are still areas where prices are lower than the trend lines.
    "There are pockets even within neighborhoods," Lewis said. "Last year, the area around South Medford High School was undervalued. There is new construction going on around there. I do think there is an ebb and flow of desirable areas; some want vanilla, some want chocolate. East Medford tends to lead the way. There are still occasional bargains, but they are getting snapped up, and we're seeing multiple-offer situations on homes."
    SOMLS reported 929 existing home sales during the first six months, down 3 percent from 958 in 2013.
    Roy Wright, a long-time local appraiser, said 72 percent of sales in east Medford were between $100,000 and $300,000, with 6 percent above $500,000. In west Medford, one in five houses sold for $100,000 or less, while nearly one in four sold for more than $200,000. One in three sales were between $150,000 and $200,000. In Ashland, more than three out of four transactions were between $200,000 and $500,000. More than half of sales in Central Point were between $100,000 and $200,000.
    While Lewis had a $500,000 listing head to escrow after three days, the market remains generally modest.
    "Things that are in the $200,000 range are definitely getting more attention," he said. "It's more at the lower levels, but I think there are nuggets of under-valued neighborhoods, but now it's starting to become more, 'This house is really a good deal for that neighborhood, and it's going to appreciate.'"‰"
    During the first six months of the year, the median price for normal sales declined to $210,000 from $215,000 during the period, while medians for bank-owned and short sales increased. The median for foreclosures sold by banks jumped to $146,000 from $125,000, and the median for short sales grew to $149,750 from $131,000.
    New construction passing through SOMLS showed 133 sales through June 30, compared to 96 a year ago, with a median price of $233,000, up 3 percent from the comparable 2013 figure of $226,125.
    "We've got a lot of land here and some older homes that are going to get replaced by new construction," Lewis said. "Sometimes, it's better to start from scratch than to try to remodel something, depending on the area."
    Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness, friend him on Facebook, and read his blog at www.mailtribune.com/EconomicEdge.
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