Hot Home Sales

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Judy baker has been in real estate for 11 years...and she's never seen a housing market like this one.

"The market the past 2 1/2 years has been outstanding. Typically, we get a slowdown in September, October, and November. But, this year it's stayed strong, in fact September was one of my best months of the year, and it appears October has stayed very active as well," says Judy Baker, with Whithead Inc. Realtors.

According to the Illinois Association of Realtors, housing sales in Winnebago County increased by nearly 35-percent between September 04 and 05. Baker says even though interest rates are climbing slowly--rates are now hovering around 6.25 percent for a 30 year mortgage--- she doesn't foresee a slowdown..

"The interest rates will go up a little bit higher, but I don't really think it's going to affect us much. We're still looking for a very strong 2006," says Baker.

So what's been keeping sales in the Rock River Valley strong for the past 2 1/2 years? Baker says several factors.

"We are seeing a lot of people moving into the area--being transferred, new companies coming in, new industry that is coming in. We are seeing a big flux of buyers with that..also out of the Chicago area, we are seeing more people come in. And some of it is, maybe the interest rates will go higher after the first of the year, and they want to get in before they do," says Baker.

Some say we're in a housing bubble that’s bound to burst...but others say the strong demand in the Rock River Valley is enough to keep the market hot for quite a while.