More local single-family residences went on the market, mortgage interest rates edged up, and the pace of sales increased 20.6 percent during the first quarter of 2018.
The confluence of those factors pushed the median sales price of existing Jackson County single-family residences up to $269,900 from $245,000 a year earlier — a 10. 2 percent surge — according figures compiled by the Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service.
At the end of March, there were 846 houses listed for sale, up 15.7 percent from last year.
Colin Mullane, a broker at Full Circle Real Estate in Ashland, and spokesman for Rogue Valley Association of Realtors, suggested the growing inventory of homes on the market may lead to stabilized prices in the near future.
“We’re starting to see inventory levels rise all over the county,” Mullane said. “The increase is beginning to catch up the pent-up demand.”
Another factor is in the mix as well. There was a 26.7 percent jump in the number of new homes sold through the SOMLS during the first three months of the year, and a substantial chunk of new construction is sold directly.
From Talent to Shady Cove, builders are hammering away or gearing up to begin construction.
Mike Malepsy, of Windermere Trails End Real Estate, suggests pricing is at a point where new construction will keep the market moving.
In the Upper Rogue region, Malepsy sold a 1,500-square-foot, three-bed, two-bath spec house for about $260,000.
“It sold for $175 per square foot,” Malepsy said. “At that price, it makes sense for the builders to do new construction. We’re starting to see a lot of developers put new lots on the ground and to see new construction come out of the ground. Lot prices are close to the pre-recession levels in a lot of areas, but the costs of building is going up because of labor and materials.”
There were four areas were the median prices declined from last year, including Talent, where home values have appreciated dramatically coming out of the recession. There were relatively few sales during the past three months, and several were in the Darken subdivision built nearly 20 years ago, Mullane said.
Three-bedroom houses with one or two bathrooms at about 1,060 square feet, originally selling for between $230,000 and $250,000, fell in value to between $130,000 to $140,000 during the recession before rebounding.
“They sold quite easily,” Mullane said.
A new subdivision featuring 1,400-square-foot homes by builder Charlie Hamilton, near the intersection of Talent Avenue and Rapp Road, figures to be priced in the $300,000 range.
“That will bump the median back up,” he said.
East Medford, which accounted for more than 30 percent of the transactions, had a median sales gain of 6 percent to $289,500.
Throughout the county, houses sold at an average of 47 days on market, compared to 45 a year ago.
— Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GregMTBusiness or www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.