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Home prices rise across Jackson County

There are more homes on the market in Jackson County, prices are up and the level of sales has increased.

Figures compiled by Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service show that in the three-month period ending Oct. 31 the median price for existing single-family homes rose 4.9 percent — to $215,000 from $205,000 a year ago.

Inventory of homes on the market grew 12.6 percent to 1,271 from 1,129 from a year ago. The pace of existing home sales during the three-month period picked up 7.6 percent, led by east Medford and Eagle Point.

“The reason there is more inventory is when prices go up more, people are out from underwater and actually able to sell their houses without a short sale,” said Terry Rasmussen, an agent with John L. Scott in Medford. “The vast majority of people who were underwater aren’t underwater any more. Still there is a process; for a lot of people it takes a year or two to decide what they’re going to do and then make a move.”

He said potential buyers who lost their homes to foreclosure or short sales are beginning to regain lost credit standing.

Coupled with interest rates that dipped a quarter of a percent in recent weeks, it makes sense for some renters to become homeowners again.

“Rents are up 7 percent in the last year,” Rasmussen said. “When you lock in a payment, the landlord is not raising your rent, your terms are set, the tax benefits are yours and you’re building your own wealth.”

Median sales prices increased in 10 of 13 urban geographical areas tracked by SOMLS, led by a gain of 23.3 percent in northwest Medford to $177,500, 14 percent in White City to $148,735 and 10.6 percent in Ashland to $356,000.

During October, the median price for homes in unincorporated areas of the county slipped to $207,000 from $208,950 a year ago.

During the past three months, normal transactions accounted for 88.1 percent of local sales at a median of $225,900.

“Right now, it’s looking good,” Rasmussen said. “There are good interest rates, plenty of inventory, people are coming out from under their credit woes. All of those things are built into a good market.”