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Housing prices climb 9 percent in Jackson County

The median sales price for Jackson County single-family homes rose 9.1 percent to reach $209,000 for the three-month period ending Jan. 31.

Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service reported activity picked up dramatically, with 472 deals compared to 380 for a similar three-month period a year ago, a 42 percent gain.

Ron Galbreath, an agent with Coldwell Banker in Medford, said a combination of low interest rates and recovering prices in other markets have contributed to increased median sale prices in most parts of the county.

"If a house is priced from $225,000 on down, it doesn't last long on the market," Galbreath said. "When rates fell to 3 or 3.5 percent, there were kids asking themselves why they should be paying $1,200 rent when they could buy the same home for $800 a month."

People who may have lost houses during the collapse of the market seven or eight years ago are also returning to the market, he said.

"They're very cautious though, they won't overpay," Galbreath said. "We're trying to keep the market from overheating again, but when people price a house low enough, they're actually getting bidding wars again."

Eight of 13 statistical areas reported median gains, led by Shady Cove/Trail, which recorded a 29.1 percent jump to a median price of $177,445 from $137,500.

West Medford's median rose 20.9 percent to $133,0000 from $110,225.

Eagle Point saw an advance of 16.5 percent to $238,750 from $205,000.

East Medford, which accounted for nearly a third of the home sales during the past three months, saw its median price edge up 3.5 percent to $220,000 from $212,500.

"We're starting to see more and more of an influx from out-of-state buyers," Galbreath said. "They've got their equity back and they are escaping Southern California. It feels like the cycle is starting over again. Houses that remain on the market are there because of the quality of construction or location, otherwise they would sell."

While sales were up, year-over-year, the inventory of houses in half of the local areas declined. Countywide there was a 1.7 percent decline, with 962 houses in the SOMLS system Jan. 31, compared with 979 a year ago.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GregMTBusiness, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31, and read his blog at www.mailtribune.com/Economic Edge.