Home Sales On the Rebound; Gas Prices Dive; Pertussis Restrictions Eased; Amber Alert Still Working

Coast Radio News
Local News

9 October 2013

Real Estate Outlook Promising

Home sales in the Florence area in the second and third quarters of this year have risen to levels not seen since before 2006.

Tawfik Ahdab, a real estate market analyst with Pacific Valuation Group in Florence said there were 207 sales recorded in the 2nd  and 3rd quarters of this year.  That’s up from 166 last year in the same time period; 134 the year before.

According to information from the Multiple Listing Service the previous high for the 2nd and 3rd quarters was April through September of 2005 when 246 home sales were recorded.

Ahdab pointed to the number of pending sales as of September 30th as an indicator that fourth quarter sales are likely to be down slightly.  But, with 274 sales in the 273 days of the first three-quarters of this year that would put annualized sales numbers at 367; an 18% increase over last year.

Despite the increase in numbers, prices are holding relatively static with the median sale price at $163-thousand.

Ahdab said the residential market is continuing to strengthen and he expects average prices to begin rising eventually.

Gas Prices Dive

The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline fell by nine cents in Florence this past week.  Most of that change came because two of the traditionally higher priced retail stations in Florence closed.  Drivers in Florence may have fewer choices for fuel… five as opposed to seven stations… but are paying on average $3.40 a gallon.  That’s a nickel higher than the national average price as measured by Triple-A… and a full 20-cents a gallon below the Oregon average price of $3.60 a gallon.

Pertussis Restrictions Eased

A decline in the number of confirmed cases of Pertussis… also known as Whooping Cough… has meant an easing of visitor restrictions at hospitals in Lane County.

PeaceHealth spokesperson Anne Williams said visitors under the age of 13 will now be allowed to visit the Neonatal Intensive Care unit at River Bend; and parents with children under the age of one…who are at the greatest risk of exposure to pertussis… will be allowed to bring them when visiting any of the four PeaceHealth medical centers in Lane County, including Peace Harbor Hospital.

Williams said with the cold and flu season beginning it’s still a good idea for anyone with symptoms of either illness to wear a mask when visiting.  She also said if there is another spike in the number of pertussis cases, precautionary measures may be implemented once again.

Amber Alert Not Affected by Shutdown

Despite some accounts on mainstream and social media last week, the AMBER Alert System is alive and well despite the federal government shutdown.

Monday, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children sent out a reminder that the AMBER alert program will continue to provide support to local agencies that operate the system that is intended to help spread the word quickly in the event of an abducted child.

Oregon implemented a statewide plan 11 years ago.  It’s based on a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies and local broadcasters.  Since 2002 there have been 20 activations in the state helping to safely recover 22 children.