Real estate in Medford can look forward to better days, claimed Greg Stiles of the Mail Tribune on October 27, 2009. His newspaper article claims that “buyers have snapped up foreclosures and short sales like hors d’oeuvres and appetizers and local industry leaders hope they will find the main course will be just as desirable.” On the facts and figures side of things, “the latest figures compiled by Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service show 233 pending sales — 44.7 percent more than a year ago. New listings, meanwhile, have declined, helping to reduce the bloated inventory that accumulated after the housing bubble burst four years ago.”
According to the statistics, Medford real estate is not fairing too well. Compared to the previous month, Yahoo! Real Estate reported on November 16, 2009, that the median price of homes for sale dropped two percent to $244,000 while foreclosures also dropped by a similar amount to about $183,000. However, while these figures may seem appealing to some, realtors caution that the median sales price can sometimes be misleading, as it represents only the median price of the specific homes that sold during the time period and not necessarily the entire market. On the whole, however, Medford homes for sale are doing much better than similar properties elsewhere in Oregon or even on the west cost of the U.S.
Stiles wrote a follow-up article on November 7, 2009, to provide more information regarding the local housing market. According to the report, the extension of the federal tax credit will help to continue the market stimulation that has helped out the Medford real estate market previously. “With the first-time homebuyers tax credit and expanding coverage to include current owners, local real estate agents hope to see the trend continue. Congress extended the tax credit, slated to end Nov. 30, through April 30, 2010. Many current homeowners also are eligible to receive a credit of $6,500 if they buy during the prescribed period.” Most notably, East Medford was the biggest segment of the market with 138 sales in the past three months, up from 114 in 2008.
Despite a harmful global recession and construction freezes on properties around the world, Ashland real estate is still the target for some build-happy property owners. While the current credit crisis and failing mortgage market make building a new home a bad idea at this time, the Oregon city is still seeing a steady amount of building permits. The city is capitalizing on this trend by adding on an extra fee to those people seeking building certification and permissions. Andrea Calcagno of the local television station KDRV reported on November 9, 2009, that real estate in Ashland continues to be developed at a surprising rate although “people who want to build a home or business in Ashland may soon be paying an extra dollar per square foot to the Ashland School District.”
The article claims that “If passed, the tax would be $1 for every square foot for residential building and .50 cents for commercial building projects.” The Ashland School District says the money collected by the tax is predicted to be between $100,000 and $300,000 a year. Similar rules and laws have already been implemented in forty-nine other districts in Oregon. Accordingly, applications for housing permits are expected to decline one the law is put into place. An indirect effect of this is an increased demand for Ashland homes for sale after construction of new homes begins to taper as the results of the additional fees come into full effect.
The Yahoo! Real Estate Market Snapshot updated on November 16, 2009, showed a slight decrease in the median price of homes for sale, down 1.9 percent to just over $429,000. The price for foreclosed properties rose 2.2 percent from the previous month to just under $290,000. These numbers are quite mild in relation to several other cities and areas in the United States that suffered much more over the same period. Currently, experts estimate the worst of the recession to bottom-out some time in 2010, much to the relief of property owners and potential buyers alike.