ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A significant jump in July home prices and leap in housing inventory are the latest statistics confirming that the Rockford real estate market is realizing the return of home sellers.
The three-month rolling average price hit $113,178 in July, the highest monthly average since $117,520 in January 2011.
The July 2013 price was up slightly from $112,679 in July 2011. However, this marked seven out of the last eight months of year-over-
year price increases.
Housing sales were up 2.7 percent in Winnebago, Boone and Ogle Counties from 364 home sales in July 2012 to 374 home sales this July.
Year-over-year monthly sales have been up 10 out of the last 12 months.
“This extended run of year-over-year sales gains shows the drive to own a home is powering the Rockford housing market,” said Steve Bois, CEO of Rockford Area Realtors.
“Rising home prices fuel the selling market because existing home owners feel more secure about selling their current homes at a profit and moving up to bigger houses.”
Rockford area housing inventory reached 2,093 homes in July, the highest all year and marking the first time properties hit the 2,000 level this year.
“Enthusiasm on the part of buyers shows no signs of flagging,” Bois commented, “and add to that the addition of more than 100 sellers to the market. This indicates that both buyers and sellers believe the time is right to get into the market.”
Driving sales are the return of two key home buyer groups: millennials and move-up buyers.
Almost a quarter of now-married millennials purchased a home with their current spouse before their wedding, according to Coldwell Banker’s new Mortgage and Homebuying study.
By comparison, just 14 percent of those 45 and older purchased a
home with their current spouse before marriage.
Rising Rockford housing inventory levels indicate the return of sellers to the market.
“Existing home owners looking to purchase a better or larger home are coming back in the housing market,” Bois remarked.
“Move-up buyers coming back into the market is a true sign of housing recovery and economic growth.”
Bois said inventory should continue to expand as existing homeowners put their homes on the market, giving first-time buyers more opportunities to find a suitable home.
New national research confirms this move. Nearly half of Americans (47 percent) say they feel more comfortable purchasing a home today than at any other time in the past five years, say results of a survey by Mayflower Research.
“The data reflects an easing of the wariness Americans have felt in recent years following the housing bubble.” Bois said.
“The top two reasons for a delay—economic instability and declining real estate market—are now falling by the wayside. Americans
have rising faith in the housing market.”