The selection of existing homes for sale in Jackson County continues to drop, meaning a house ignored a few weeks ago now may get a glance and a walk-through.
With low mortgage interest rates making many properties attractive, Medford’s single-family residential prices are on the rise, according to figures released Monday by the Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service.
“The lower-end and bank-owned stuff has gone quickly,” said Kathy Tinsley, a Coldwell Banker Pro West Real Estate agent in Medford. “There always seems to be a domino effect, the lower end goes and then we start coming up. The lower-mid-priced houses are doing a little better.”
SOML figures show the past three months were good for Medford and not too bad for Jackson County as a whole.
Over the three-month period ending Jan. 31, the median sales price across Medford rose from this time last year, while the median price for the broader county declined 2.4 percent to $141,500. In January alone, however, the county’s median sales figure was $145,400, 6.1 percent higher than January 2011′s $137,000 median.
East Medford’s median price rose 6.5 percent to $169,900, over the corresponding period a year ago. West Medford saw a 15.7 percent hike to $110,625.
“Medford is a bigger market, so it’s always good to pay attention to what’s going on,” said Colin Mullane, an agent with Full Circle Real Estate in Ashland and an SOMLS board member.
The pace of sales stayed constant over the three-month period, while the days on market dropped to 72 days, down by three weeks from a year earlier. The 1,290 houses on the market at the end of January were 21.9 percent fewer than a year ago and down 20 units from a month earlier.
While distressed properties account for fewer than three of 10 houses on the market, bank-owned houses and short sales comprised 57.2 percent of sales between Nov. 1 and Jan. 31. Of the 1,290 houses listed in the SOMLS system at the end of January, 72.2 percent were normal properties, while 11.8 percent were foreclosures and 16 percent were short sales.
The median price for foreclosed houses was $121,000, while the median for short sales was $134,950. The median for traditional, non-distressed deals was $179,950.
Tinsley said buyers are investing in rental property with money from retirement accounts.
“They are buying duplexes and four-plexes, apartments and land,” she said.
Still, there are plenty of reminders not to get too carried away. “Some people bring up the presidential election and where are we going with that,” Tinsley said. “People are still waiting. They want to buy, but are making sure the market is going where it’s going. We don’t know when things are going up until we look behind. We know certain areas are up, not a lot, but headed up.”
Sam Martin Jr., a mortgage broker with Valley Mortgage Group in Medford, said he’s getting a steady stream of inquiries — even from people who may have lost a home early in the recession.
“The lack of inventory is going to create demand,” Martin said. “Because of that, I think we will see more people putting their house on the market.”
With global geopolitical uncertainties lurking, Mullane is cautious that 2012 will be noticeably different than the past two years.
“The outside markets are showing strong signs, so I’m encouraged and hopeful,” he said. “But I don’t want to jump on the 2012 bandwagon until January next year.”
Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation. Please check our Community Rules for more information. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form. New comments are only accepted for two weeks from the date of publication.