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Home sales are down in Central Point, and the ones that are available are out of most residents' price range

A lack of housing

Housing sales have slowed dramatically in Central Point the past two months. Affordable housing has dried up ' as has most of the new construction.

A total of 60 of the city's single-family residences exchanged hands in April and May compared to 87 in 2002 and the median price ' half of the houses selling for more and half for less ' climbed 5 percent to &

36;162,000.

Sam Martin, an associate broker at Tom Malot Real Estate in Central Point, said there were just four single-family residences listed under &

36;150,000 for sale within the city limits and eight more between &

36;150,000 and &

36;200,000.

There are no new subdivisions and anything that has come up sold, Martin said.

— The Taylor subdivision across Highway 99 from Crater High School still has space available.

But you can't touch anything there for under &

36;270,000, Martin says.

Houses in Central Point East are going for more than &

36;200,000 as well.

I've read that only 23 percent of people living here can afford to buy a home at that level, Martin said. It's people from California or Portland that can afford the houses. The only way that's going to change is if we allow more property into urban growth boundaries. It would allow more buyers to buy at an affordable price; right now there is a lack of (available) land.

Not surprisingly, Central Point saw the sharpest decline in available housing in Jackson County. The city's inventory slid 71 percent to 41 homes in May from 140 a year earlier. The average time on the market is 69 days compared to 118 a year ago.

The only house that Malot has listed under &

36;150,000 in Central Point is priced at &

36;136,000 and it's been on the market for less than two months.

The garage was converted into a master bedroom and it opens up into the laundry room, Martin said. If it was priced in the &

36;120s, it would be gone.

The pace of existing home sales slumped 21 percent county-wide in May as 195 units were sold compared to 247 in 2002.

But the median price jumped 15 percent to &

36;172,900 from &

36;151,000 a year earlier, according to figures compiled by Medford appraiser Roy Wright. The April median was &

36;170,000. The average time on market for houses sold in May was 75 days, five fewer than April and down from 110 days in May 2002.

The county's inventory continued to diminish as well. There were a total of 623 available units in May, down 37 percent from 982 in May 2002.

A two-day examination of activity in the previous 24 hours showed that there were 30 new listings on Wednesday, 20 new sales pending and 17 deals completed.

On Thursday, there were 26 new listings, 22 new sales pending and 12 completed sales.

That's pretty typical of the past six months, Martin said. We've been losing more and more inventory.

The figures do not take into account property for sale by owner.

East Medford's median selling price continued its march toward &

36;200,000, reaching &

36;198,000 in May after reaching &

36;195,705 in April. It's also 30 percent ahead of last May's median price of &

36;154,500. Sales continued ahead of the 2002 pace at 18.8 percent.

West Medford's median price rose 17 percent to &

36;139,424 even while its average days on the market figure fell to 50.

Ashland fell behind its 2002 sales pace for the first time as just 29 residential transactions were recorded, down 41 percent from 2002. But the median price of sales remained &

36;285,000 for the second straight month ' 18 percent higher than May 2002.

Talent's median price climbed 21 percent from last May to &

36;169,250, but year-over-year sale activity dropped for the first time in three months.

Home sales in Jackson County have slumped compared to last year, but only because there?s little to sell. Prices continue a steady upward spiral and the houses that do go on the market sell quickly. Mail Tribune / Jim Craven - Mail Tribune Jim Craven