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Jackson County housing market more favorable for buyers

Jackson County’s real estate market is looking good for buyers, according to recent numbers released by the Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service.

“It’s still a great time for buyers,” said Colin Mullane with the Rogue Valley Association of Realtors. “It’s actually, if anything, a better time than it’s been for several years.”

An increase in the average number of days that homes spent on the market between May 1 and July 31 compared to last year shows that people looking to buy houses here are in less of a hurry.

County-wide, existing homes stayed on the market for an average of 38 days — four days more than the same time frame in 2018. New houses spent an average of 97 days on the market from May through the end of July, up from 70 days this time last year.

The numbers varied widely across Jackson County. Houses in Ashland took the most time to sell, with 71 days for existing homes and 209 for new houses.

Southwest Medford homes were well below the county-wide average, with 18 days for existing homes and 67 days for new houses.

Mullane said greater competition — due to more new houses being on the market — is allowing buyers to take their time and potentially negotiate better prices from sellers.

“Sellers are not feeling the pinch yet of higher interest rates,” he said. “And so if that starts to change, that could have a bigger shift in the market, and we’d see that bear out on pricing and probably time on market and inventory as well.”

In spite of lengthening sale times, prices continue to tick upward, with the median price for existing homes up to $295,000. That’s an increase of 2.3% over last year’s $288,250 and 37.2% over the 2014 median of $215,000.

The median price for new homes fell slightly from this time last year: a loss of 2.1% from $347,450 to $340,163 in 2019. Still, since 2014, the median price is up by 46%.

The number of houses on the market in Jackson County as of July 31 was 12% higher than the same time in 2018.

The data also showed where development is and isn’t occurring in the Rogue Valley. Several communities saw no new home sales, including Phoenix, northwest Medford and Upper Rogue communities such as Trail and Shady Cove.

It may be too early to tell whether summertime smoke will impact the real estate market, Mullane said.

Sellers may have tried this year to get their houses on the market early, expecting smoke to be a factor from the end of July through September.

If sales begin to plateau, that could be a sign of what was driving the increase in sales, Mullane said.

“We will really start to see next month,” Mullane said.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Kaylee Tornay at ktornay@rosebudmedia.com or 541-776-4497. Follow her on Twitter @ka_tornay.

Jackson County’s real estate market is looking good for buyers, according to recent numbers released by the Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service.