Competitive housing market leads to record breaking year in residential sales

SOUTHERN OREGON — Finding housing and a home to call your own has been tough in the Rogue Valley.

However, it’s led to a record breaking year in residential sales.

$1.3 billion dollars.

That’s how much money went towards buying residential single family homes in Jackson County last year.

“We have so many people that discovered southern Oregon on the internet, and they’re coming here as a refuge,” said real estate broker for John L. Scott in Medford, Alice Lema. She says the housing market is incredibly competitive for many reasons: an influx of out of state movers, many locals searching for housing following the devastating Almeda Fire, and a pre-existing lack of available housing.

“There’s a lot of pressure on our housing here and now. The interest rates have just gone down and down and that’s just created a lot of demand.”

She says many people are going after properties in areas with high internet speeds.

“You can tell where the internet drops off and the service drops off, because the prices drop off and the number of sales drop off because people cannot do their work or school in that situation,” said Lema.

Lema says each single family home in around the $400,000 (or lower) price range receive 4-10 offers – and on average, properties are off the market in under one week.

“People are going to other counties. They’re going to other areas. If you can take your job with you, do you need to live in a high taxed area?”

Lema’s own daughter struggled to find housing in the area and is one resident who recently left Jackson County.

“We ended up getting our place out in Klamath Falls because the prices were so much better,” said recent home buyer, Melissa Joule. She says the lack of housing available and high prices drove her and her partner away.

“The places that did come up, they just were in such bad condition, they were super old and needed thousands of dollars of repairs just to be livable,” said Joule.

For people in the valley still looking, Lema says don’t give up.

“I promise you, if you stick with it you will get your own home, you will be comfortable with your own place and you will be able to have some comfort with the payment,” said Lema.

Lema says Josephine County had a record $453,000,000 in residential sales, with Klamath County reaching $263,000,000 in 2020.

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