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Median house prices up 3.9 percent in county

The median sales price for existing houses in Jackson County rose 3.9 percent, year over year, for the three months ending April 30.

Whether that modest gain is masking a potential surge during the months ahead is to be seen.

Countywide figures compiled by Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service between Feb. 1 and April 30 showed a $222,450 median compared to $214,200 a year ago.

"I don't think we're seeing a cooling-off period, there just isn't enough inventory to sell," said Rogue Valley Association of Realtors spokesman Colin Mullane. "Prices rose so high, so fast for a while that we're still seeing buyers adjusting and sellers adjusting. We're seeing houses selling from 98 to 99 percent of list price, and that shows buyers are willing to step up and pay full asking price."

During the three months ending April 30, the pace of transactions grew 13.5 percent over the same period in 2015, with 588 deals made compared to 518 a year ago.

Roughly 40 percent of the transactions were in east Medford, where the median edged up 3.5 percent to $248,500 from $240,000. Central Point saw a 12.8 percent bump to $214,400.

Claudette Moore, an agent with Coldwell Banker Pro West Real Estate in Medford, said she's just fine with a 4 to 5 percent median sales price gain.

"That's a nice, healthy increase," she said.

Appraisal values are serving as a regulator of sorts.

"If we can't get houses to appraise out at the accepted price, then we have to renegotiate," Moore said. "But if people say they really want the house and have enough of a down payment, then they might pay $10,000 or $30,000 more than the appraisal."

For April, nine of the 13 markets tracked by SOMLS were either equal to or exceeded the three-month median, hinting that an upward movement may be in the offing during the rest of spring and summer.

Houses sold at an average of 46 days on market, compared to 65 last year. Mullane said that houses sitting on the market for more than 30 days may simply be overpriced.

The inventory of available existing houses declined 15.9 percent at the end of April to 894 from 1,063 a year ago. Only east Medford and White City saw more listings than last year.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GregMTBusiness, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.