As we look at the year-end housing numbers in Jackson County, they look very strong but they don’t necessarily tell the whole story. We ended 2018 by increasing the median price on existing home sales by approximately 6%, new home prices approximately 11%, rural home prices rose about 5% and lots and land prices remained about the same as 2017 prices. At the same time, the number of homes sold (existing, new & rural) fell in 2018 by less than 2%.
The other part of the story is that Jackson County was on its way in 2018 to having a record year in both increases of home prices and homes sales, then summer hit and we saw a shift in the market. The majority of homes were selling within 30 days and then wildfire smoke, rising interest rates, stock market woes and growing consumer uncertainty all led to a softening of demand. The second half of 2018 saw home sales decline from the previous year and time on the market increase. Here are some highlights for Jackson County real estate in 2018.
Jackson County home sales totaled $1.2 Billion
Median price of an existing home increased to $280,000
Home prices went up 6.1% on existing homes and sales went up 1%
Home prices went up 11.5% on new homes and sales went down by 15%
Home prices went up 5.3% on rural homes and sales went down by 6%
Lot/land prices went up 4% and sales went down by 29%
Another interesting highlight is that Jacksonville beat out Ashland as the highest priced properties in Jackson County. The median price of a home in Jacksonville is now $479,900, up 21% from 2017, while Ashland is at $432,000, only up 3.2% from 2017. Jacksonville saw the majority of homes sell in the $300,000 – $500,000 range.
So, what’s in store for the real estate market in 2019? Great question, but if you look at the 4th quarter of 2017 it may give you an idea. In the last 3 months of the year, home sales went down about 12% but home prices continued to increase by 6% pushing the median home price to $296,000 for the quarter. Factors that will affect the market in 2019 are interest rates, demand, inventory, and consumer confidence. While interest rates have risen in 2018, the rate at which they are increasing is likely to decline as the Federal Reserve is reacting to mixed economic factors, great employment, growth in GDP, declining home sales and a volatile stock market. Inventory while low in the winter, is up about 20% higher than the same time last year, so come spring, we predict buyers will have a great selection of homes for sale, although inventory may still be a little low. Demand is the key, and another smoked filled summer can put a damper on our growth; but, recent job numbers state that Jackson county has had a 15.4% increase in employment over the past five years adding 13,000 jobs. Add to our internal growth the increasing inbound migration from escapees and retirees from all over and 2019 should see home prices continue to raise modestly as they have done for seven years straight, and home sales should stabilize to a modest growth rate.