Jackson County real estate prices surged in 2021
Residential home sales and listings in Jackson County were both up slightly in 2021 compared to 2020, while the median sale price in urban areas increased 17% to $400,000, up from $343,000 in 2020.
“I would argue there is not a bubble,” Ashland Realtor Scott Lewis said at a press conference hosted by the Rogue Valley Association of Realtors Friday. “We continue to have a really good market here in Southern Oregon.”
The county saw 3,869 houses sell last year compared to 3,765 in 2020. New listings totaled 4,593 last year versus 4,192 in 2020. Putting rural and urban sales together, the median sale price came to $410,000 for 2021, a 14% increase over 2020’s $360,000.
The overall residential sales total for the county was $1.79 billion in 2021 compared to $1.48 billion in 2020. In all, Realtors showed properties an estimated 60,300 times last year.
“Sellers are a little more willing to let folks in their homes,” said Lewis. In spring 2020 home inventory began to tumble as the pandemic spread. From a high point of about 750 in April 2020, inventory dropped to just over 200 at the start of 2021, but then listings climbed to nearly 600 in October before declining to 373 Dec. 31. In December 2020, inventory stood at 341.
In the last quarter of 2021, urban houses averaged 27 days on the market against 36 in the same time frame of 2020.
Lewis said he saw homes sell this last year before he had a chance to take photos and videos and do minor paint touchups. Those sales sometimes happen when other agents have a client looking for a certain type of house, he said.
“There’s a decent percentage of housing that sells before it goes public,” said Lewis. Last year he sold four homes to buyers who never visited but viewed the properties through videos. With that sort of pursuit, Lewis said it is crucial for buyers to already have financing in place so they can offer when an attractive home comes along.
“It’s super important that buyers be ready … so they should get with lenders,” said Lewis.
Homes in all urban areas sold, on average, for between 98% and 100% of the listing price. In 2020 they sold at 97% to 99% of the listing price. During June, sellers were getting top dollar with sales on average at 101% of list, but that was the only month exceeding the asking price. June also saw the most sales at 400.
Sales are driven, in part, by people who realize they can draw Bay Area salaries while working from home in Jackson County and enjoy the many options offered locally, said Lewis.
New home median price was at $474,243 for the final quarter of 2021 compared to $355,900 for the last quarter of 2020. New homes were on the market an average of 28 days for the quarter versus 51 in 2020.
“We’ve got a good amount of new construction, but the supply chain is real,” said Lewis. A lack of supplies and materials — along with the latest COVID surge — is slowing work and has cut the number of workers available.
A total of 186 rural homes sold in the last quarter of 2021 compared to October through December 2020. Days on the market declined from 82 to 50 for the same period. Rural median prices dropped 1.5% for the last quarter compared to 2020, going from $625,000 to $607,500. Sales of a few expensive rural properties can easily influence the rural statistic, Lewis said.
A rush to buy rural lands by those fleeing the cities when the pandemic arrived in 2020 has subsided. Those looking at rural locations also may realize the amount of work involved in managing such property and chose an urban setting, said Lewis.
“I don’t think I’ve seen it yet,” Lewis said of high levels of inflation putting pressure on the real estate market. “I’m certain it well. The Fed has been subsidizing market rates indefinitely.”
Industry analysts disagree on when inflation and rate changes may affect the market, with some saying 6 to 8 months and others that a 2% rate increase would need to occur, according to Lewis. Those planning to purchase should move sooner rather than later, he suggested.
“It’ still affordable here,” said Lewis. “Even the most pessimistic experts say in 2022 we will still be in positive appreciation. Don’t expect a decline.”
Reach Ashland freelance writer Tony Boom at email@example.com.