Home sales are up for the ninth straight month in Jackson County, but prices are slightly lower than they were last year at this time.

Home sales are up for the ninth straight month in Jackson County, but prices are slightly lower than they were last year at this time.

Sales of existing homes in the county rose 27.2 percent, from 394 to 501, for the 90-day period ending Oct. 31 over the same period a year earlier, according to figures provided Friday by Southern Oregon Multiple Listing Service.

The median price for the period was $185,000, down 2.5 percent from $189,700 a year earlier.

The homes sold faster than a year ago as well, with the average time on market falling to 80 days versus 104 last year.

The latest figures also show the number of "distressed" properties in the mix falling: 42 percent of homes sold in this period were in foreclosure or otherwise distressed, while nearly 50 percent were earlier in the year.

Although the median price for homes in the Upper Rogue region of Shady Cove and Trail fell 3.2 percent to $221,250 in the past year, it is one of only two geographical areas out of 11 tracked by SOMLS that remains above the 2004 median.

The newest median sales point in Shady Cove/Trail was 17.7 percent higher than the 2004 figure of $187,985. Eagle Point was the other area with a higher median than five years ago. At $195,000, its median price was 3.9 percent above the $187,750 median in 2004.

Medford Mail Tribune reporter Greg Stiles can be reached at 776-4463 or gstiles@mailtribune.com.