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Home sales bounce back

Home sales in Jackson County have been one bright spot during a time of economic headwinds, with June up 50% over May but still down 9.7% from last year.

According to the Rogue Valley Association of Realtors, the median home price in Jackson County for the quarter ending June 30 was $306,000, up 5.2% from the previous year’s $291,000.

“It’s very much a seller's market,” said Scott Lewis, a Realtor/broker at John L. Scott. “Buyers also have record low interest rates.”

There are 45.4% fewer homes on the market than last year, with the current inventory in the county at 601. With decreasing supply, it has driven prices up, but interest rates are hovering below 3%, sometimes as low as 2.5%.

Lewis said the market is typically fueled by houses priced at $500,000 or less. But so far this July four houses priced at $1 million or more have sold. Two of the properties were in east Medford, one in Ashland and one in Jacksonville.

New construction has been popular, and the escrow time for these properties has dropped from 90 days to 55 days.

Lewis said that in about 30% of transactions the buyers bring cash to the sale.

Because there are so many buyers, some are adding escalation clauses to their bids, offering $1,000 more than the highest offer, Lewis said.

The pandemic has changed buying habits, as well.

Lewis said he had a couple from Long Beach who had never seen the house they bought until a few day before they moved in.

He said the couple relied on videos as well as a list of problems that he’d prepared for them.

Sellers have been concerned about showing their homes to people who might be infected.

“Some people don’t want to list because they don’t want cooties in their home,” he said.

As a result, many showings now require masks and slip-on booties before entering a house. Potential buyers are also asked not to touch surfaces.

“That’s kind of difficult when people want to touch beautiful granite counters,” Lewis said.

While prices are up, the number of houses sold in Jackson County during the last quarter was down to 562 compared to 783 in the same quarter last year.

The median price for a rural home in Jackson County was $472,500, 10.7% more than last year’s $426,750. A total of 154 rural homes sold during the last quarter, with an average of 93 days on the market.

Distressed properties account for 2% of the home inventory and 3.2% of sales over the last 3-month period.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on www.twitter.com/reporterdm.

Jamie Lusch / Mail Tribune A home is for sale on Peachwood CT in Medford.