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Jackson County homes are selling briskly

If you put it on the market, your home will sell.

At least that's the way things appeared in recent weeks as the pace of sales picked up 10.9 percent and the average selling time for existing homes in Jackson County fell to 33 days.

Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service recorded 803 sales between July 1 and Sept. 30, up from 724 a year ago. Buyers were willing to pay top dollar, as the countywide median price for those three months spiked 10.5 percent to $275,000 from $248,950 last year.

"I'm getting sales across the board in about every price range," said Terry Rasmussen, an agent with John L. Scott Real Estate. "Things are going pretty quickly right now."

On the final day of September, the local inventory was 5.3 percent larger than in 2016. With more houses coming on the market in recent months, buyers who couldn't move fast enough when the inventory was in decline, are biting quickly.

"Historically, fall is an extremely busy time of the year," Rasmussen said. "Spring is busy, summer is good, but things pick up when the kids go back to school."

In many ways, Noel and Cathy Dunlap couldn't have timed it any better to put their house on the market.

The Dunlaps have lived in their 2,357-square-foot home on Thrasher Lane for more than 30 years. The house built in 1963 on 1.82 acres has pasture to the south and west and a lane to the north accessing homes developed as in-fill spread to east Medford.

To the west sits Lone Pine Park, assuring open space.

"It's like living in the country and the city at the same time," Cathy Dunlap said. "But my husband is getting tired of moving irrigation pipes and dealing with everything."

The Dunlaps count several real estate agents among their friends, so there was no rush to pick one over the others. So they stuck a "For Sale" sign in the yard and posted the property on Zillow for $675,000.

The telephone has rung regularly with inquiries. Neighbors and builders have inquired.

In an era where lots are hard to come by and housing is in short supply, the property is attractive.

Dunlap admits when the land to the north was subdivided and several houses were packed into what had been neighbors' backyards two decades ago, it bothered her.

"It changed the character of the neighborhood," she said. "But I'm sure our neighbors don't want this property subdivided, and wouldn't be happy if we sold to a builder."

Nonetheless, when the right offer comes along, there won't be strings attached.

"Whatever they want to do with it," Dunlap said. "That's their choice."

The average urban home sale price has grown 4.9 percent annually since 1977 from $42,000 to $301,000, according to appraiser Roy Wright, who has tracked the Jackson County residential real estate market for 40 years. Even though nearly every area of the county is at or above all-time highs, buyers are undeterred.

"It helps that interest rates are hunkering around 4 percent," Rasmussen said. "We're in a good strong market, but we're not seeing any type of bubble effect. As busy as this market has been, it does not compare to 2005 and 2006."

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

A worker uses a tractor to mow a field behind a home for sale on Thrasher Lane near Lone Pine Park in Medford. [Mail Tribune / Andy Atkinson]