Home prices on the rise again, report shows

Jackson County residential real estate prices continued moving to the plus side, both in September and the third quarter that ended Sunday.

The latest Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service report shows the median price for existing homes rose as increasing activity continued reducing the inventory of existing single-family residences.

The countywide median price for existing homes sold July through September climbed 9.1 percent to $169,900 from $155,750 a year earlier, while the number of units sold jumped 24.2 percent to 564, compared to 454 for the summer months a year ago. Turnaround time on the those transactions dropped 42.4 percent to 57 days on the market from 99 days.

Another positive indication for the local market was that 58.5 percent — nearly three out of five deals — were traditional sales at a median price of $202,600. Bank-owned foreclosures accounted for 23.6 percent of transactions at a median price of $137,500, while short sales were 17.2 percent of sales at a median price of $150,000.

Long-time local real estate observer Roy Wright of Roy Wright Appraisal Service in Medford said three consecutive positive quarters was a good sign.

"Four years ago, we were in the third year of decreased home (unit) sales and second year of decreasing prices," Wright said. "Now, with three quarters of increasing sales and prices we're going the right direction."

SOMLS figures show the September median rose 9.2 percent to $174,000 from $159,275 in 2011.

New construction — both on and off the SOMLS tracking system — has improved as well, with a 15.5 percent boost in median price to $219,450 from $190,000.

"The sawdust is flying again," Wright said, citing construction projects in Phoenix, Eagle Point and east Medford. "Not a lot of it, but some, and that's encouraging."

The inventory of available houses continued its decline, with 1,139 units available as of Sunday versus 1,517 on the market a year ago.

— Greg Stiles

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