New Movie Was Filmed in the Applegate Valley

Ashland based Producers, Gary & Anne Lundgren comment on the filming of the movie “The Upside”, a newer release which was filmed, in part, in the Applegate Valley.
 
A remake of the successful French film, “The Intouchables”, Brian Cranston stars as a billionaire who is struggling with depression after an accident leaves him crippled.

Click below to read the full Mail Tribune article

2018 The Story Of Two Housing Markets

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.

Future-Proof Your Kitchen!

The median price of remodeling a kitchen is $60,000. So how do you make sure the changes you make now won’t look dated in a few years?

Here are some ideas to future-proof your kitchen – even just one could save you a bundle in the future!

Image courtesy of car.org

Summer Smoke Hits Higher End Homes Hard

In an article two months ago, we talked about how the real estate market was being negatively affected by the smoke and repeated closures of interstate 5. Now that summer has ended, we can look back and survey the actual effect the fires had on our summer home sales.

Since 2013, the real estate market in Jackson County has seen year over year growth in both the price of homes and the number of homes sold. 2018 will most likely be no different, except that the pace of growth will be slowed down due to poor summer sales. If you look at this summer’s sales, July 1st through September 30th, the number of homes sold decreased by almost 15% compared to last summer. The decrease came in the higher end real estate markets, mainly Jacksonville, Ashland and East Medford. These are areas of higher end homes that cater heavily to out of state buyers. Jacksonville was the worst hit with 46% less homes sold this summer than last summer. Not everyone saw home sales decline as we had very healthy increases in homes sales in West Medford, South West Medford and areas of lower priced homes catering more to the local buyers.

Home prices this summer increased an average of 4.5% over last summer. This number represents one of the lowest increases we have seen in a while and, again, areas of more expensive homes were harder hit, some seeing a price decline. The median price of homes in Jacksonville fell by 4.1%, Ashland fell by .6%, and East Medford increased by only 3.4%. In areas of lower priced homes, we saw some drastic price increases this summer with North West Medford increasing by 25.5%, West Medford increased by 16.2% and White City increased by 9.2%. The overall median price of a home in Jackson County has increased over 43% the last 5 years and is currently at an all-time high of $290,000, with it likely to hit $300,000 by the end of the year.

To sum it up in one sentence, this summer brought increased home sales and higher prices for lower priced homes and lower prices and lower sales of higher priced homes. The local home buyer continued to shop for homes but, by all accounts, the out of state buyers chose to stay home.

The question now is how quickly the higher end housing market will recover from a smoke filled summer. We hope there isn’t much long term effect to our market but we do know some of our clients have decided to retire in other areas with fewer forest fires. We also are seeing some first time home buyers that are getting squeezed out of the housing market by rising interest rates.

On a positive note, the economy is doing well, our area is growing in population, we have full employment, and 10,000 baby boomers are hitting the retirement age of 65 every day. Many of these retirees are deciding to retire to areas outside of where they are currently living that are less crowded, less expensive, and offer more activities. Southern Oregon is perfectly positioned to take advantage of the exploding number of retirees, as long as we can curb the fires.

 

Smoke, Pot and Tariffs Slow Southern Oregon Real Estate Sales

2018 started out with a bang and we saw the median price of a home in Jackson county increase to $285,000 – up from $194,500 in 2013. This means the average home has seen its value increase $18,000 a year. The number of homes sold has also increased this year by about 8%, which makes the outlook even better. We would have predicted an all-time record year for Southern Oregon Real Estate but then came the Smoke, Tariffs and decreasing demand from the pot growers.

 

While sales of homes under $400,000 haven’t seemed to be affected by the smoke, there has been a decrease in sales and the number of showings of more expensive homes. Often it is the visitors from out of state who are looking for homes in the price range of $400,000 and up. There are so many tourist attractions that need the tourists to survive such as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Britt Festival, Hellgate Excursions and the wineries, and they have all been hurt by more than a month of smoke. Tourists and prospective retirees will be back, and it’s unlikely the smoke will have a lasting effect, but in the meantime, we will see a dip in high-end home sales.

 

We have also seen a decline in value and demand for rural properties, especially irrigated, rural properties. We believe most of this decline is due to the end of the exuberance of marijuana legalization which caused a rush on irrigated land and drove up rural land prices. Today there is so much marijuana grown in Southern Oregon that the prices have dropped significantly. In June, the OLLC temporarily ended licensing for new marijuana grows, which was the end of irrigated rural property being purchased for the purpose of growing pot. We still have, and will always have, buyers pursuing irrigated land to grow hay, vegetables, grapes, fruit and more, but not as many as we have seen in the last two years.

 

Newly imposed tariffs on lumber, steel, drywall, nails and other key construction supplies have pushed up the average price of a new home. One study printed in the Wall Street journal states the average price of a new single-family home in California has gone up as much as $20,000 due to tariffs. Another AP article states tariffs have increased the lumber cost of an average single family home between $8,000 and $10,000. Already in July we saw record inflation at 2.9%. If this inflation continues, the Federal Reserve will have no other option than to increase interest rates, as a counter measure to limit the growth of inflation. As a reaction to the tariffs, and increased cost of goods, some major US manufactures have already announced plans to increase their prices by as much as 20%. So, it looks like we may be facing a “Wall of Inflation” caused mainly by tariffs which will lead to higher home prices in both the cost of the home and the interest rate to buy that home.

 

We have lost some valuable selling time to smoke, and we lost some demand from the marijuana growers, but as the smoke clears, the out of state buyers will be back. If they don’t hurry back, they may be surprised by how much their dream home has gone up in price and the increase in the interest rate to buy that home.