Region's real estate's year so far: sales up, prices down

Sales of Jackson County homes jumped 17.7 percent for the first half of 2010, while the median price tumbled 13.2 percent to $165,000.

The numbers, gathered by the Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service, reflected trends reported monthly by the organization.

Even after the April 30 expiration of the federal tax credits for home buyers, the normal home buying season is likely to keep the market active, said a Rogue Valley Association of Realtors spokesman.

"This is typically the busiest part of the season, and we hope that the momentum will continue to the early part of the fall," said Colin Mullane, owner of Full Circle Real Estate in Ashland.

First-time buyer tax credits put the focus on the lower end of the housing spectrum and distressed homes destined for foreclosure.

"As the median price goes up, we can expect the volume to fall between 5 percent and 10 percent, month-to-month," Mullane said. "That shouldn't be confused with home values going up. That will happen over time."

— Greg Stiles

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