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J'ville median home price a shocker

The latest residential real estate figures posted by Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service are mind-numbing.

It’s not Ashland, the usual high-rent district leader, or Talent that saw its median hit $500,000 this fall.

It was Jacksonville, where the Wild West meets Napa, and presidents like to spend the night.

Albeit the sampling size is small, the median sales price the midpoint of all sales for existing single-family residences in Jacksonville between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31 was $550,000. In October, the median in the city of 2,900 was $578,500.

By comparison, housing tracker CoreLogic reported the median price of an existing home in Southern California in September was $523,000, up 3.6 percent from 2017.

It’s the same story for new construction in Jacksonville, where the recently approved Gold Terrace Heights subdivision off Old Stage Road has seen six presales between $600,000 and $750,000, with another four spec homes ready to break ground.

“That provided a quick boost,” said Dan Mollahan, principal broker with John L. Scott Real Estate.

“People have been wanting to get into Jacksonville, and with the opening of a new subdivision they’re finally able to find the product they want a level lot with a two- or three-car garage, high-quality construction, and good-sized lots.”

In keeping with the city’s reputation, the new neighborhood on South Loop Road will be very quiet.

“There is no thoroughfare,” Mollahan said. “It’s a destination subdivision, the only people going in are the people living there.”

Gayle Pobuda of Expert Properties said Jacksonville tends to attract similar, often affluent, buyers to Ashland, but Jacksonville offers a more close-knit community.

“Sometimes an out-of-town buyer will stay in Ashland,” Pobuda said. “We’ll pick them up in Ashland, take a look at a few vacant houses to give them a taste of Ashland, go to east Medford and then to Jacksonville. We give them the gamut to orientate them to the area. They’re usually pretty quick in deciding Ashland (or) Jacksonville.”

Much of Jacksonville’s population is within walking distance of downtown, she said.

The downside, however, is that few houses come on the market in the price range for first-time home buyers.

David Primmer, a principal broker with Windermere Van Vleet Jacksonville, said once the summer wildfire smoke began to clear, California buyers started looking again.

“We tend to see a lot of the buyers come up from the Bay Area,” Primmer said. “They’ve had a lot of fires, and we’ve had a lot of smoke. The selling has been a lot slower, and we haven’t had a lot of inventory.”

Smoke also took a bite out of Upper Rogue sales. The Shady Cove area routinely had some of the worst air quality in the region during August and September. The three-month median dropped 20.9 percent to $250,000 from $316,000 last year. But the median for October alone was $382,450.

Countywide, the median sales price for existing homes edged up 5.6 percent, year over year, to $285,000. The largest market, east Medford, rose 3.4 percent to $305,000. Phoenix hit the $300,000 plateau, jumping 18.6 percent over last year.

The pace of sales slowed 14.2 percent during the period, with 714 transactions taking place this year compared to 832 last year. The time on the market for those sales extended to 38 days from 35 a year ago. The inventory of homes on the market swelled 23.7 percent to 1,222 at the end of October.

The median price for a rural home in Jackson County was $382,000, up 6.1 percent year over year. A total of 123 rural homes sold during the quarter, with an average of 82 days on the market.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or gstiles@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GregMTBusiness or www.facebook.com/greg.stiles.31.

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