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Local housing market still growing, good for buyers

Home sales continue to tick up across Jackson County, with the latest numbers showing that more homes sold, and for a higher median price, from September through November this year than last.

“It will fluctuate a little bit up and down, but the overall trend is showing people do want to live here,” said Scott Lewis, Realtor with John L. Scott Ashland and former president of the Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service.

The listing service reported that 698 existing homes sold from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30 in Jackson County’s urban areas. That’s up from 682 homes sold in the same time frame a year prior.

The numbers show that housing prices have started to decline a bit this fall in some local areas compared to last year, although prices overall are much higher across the county than they were five years ago.

The median price of an existing home fell in Talent, Phoenix and Jacksonville between August and November compared to the same time last year, according to the data.

From 2014 to 2019, however, median home prices rose 44.1%, from $205,000 to $295,000, the report said.

Lewis said persistently low interest rates and a projected population increase in the Medford area are contributing to higher home sales.

Existing homes spent 48 days on the market this year compared to 39 last year. New homes spent an average of 58 days on the market in 2018 compared to 99 days this year.

Rural home prices also ticked up, with a median of $394,000. In 2014, the median price was $289,000.

Seventy-three rural properties under 5 acres changed hands during the period, while 33 properties from five to 10 acres sold, and 36 properties of 10 acres or more were sold.

“Most of the people I work with, they want a few grapevines and low-maintenance luxury properties, rather than a working farm they have to take care of,” Lewis said.

Many of his clients are coming from metro areas such as Seattle or Portland, he said.

“When I look at the long-term trend, people want to live in Southern Oregon,” he said.

“They get the high quality of life here, great weather — plus, flush toilets and electricity,” he joked. “We’ve got it all.”

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

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