Local Home Sales Jumped Last Month But Another Slowdown Could Be Ahead

By: Kristin Burke
By: Kristin Burke

WIFR-(ROCKFORD)

Rockford, IL – The number of houses and condominiums sold by members of Rockford Area Realtors surged again in June, up 23.6 percent over the previous year.

In June, Realtors sold 371 properties, up nearly 24 percent from 300 sold in June 2009. A total of 1,855 properties were sold in the first six months of 2010, an increase of 22.7 percent from 1,512 properties sold in the first half of 2009.

“We saw a high volume of closed home sales transactions in June generated by the tax credit incentive that ended on April 30, as home buyers had until the end of June to close on these sales,” commented Steve Bois, CEO of Rockford Area Realtors. “Buying
was also spurred on by mortgage interest rates near historic lows combined with affordability conditions that essentially give buyers more bang for their buck when purchasing a home in today’s market.”

The June three-month rolling average price climbed 4.3 percent from $115,396 in May to $120,327 in June this year, although monthly year over year prices have been down virtually every month going back to March 2008.

“One big difference in the housing market now is mortgage rates,” Bois remarked.“Even though the credit for new home buyers has expired, both 30-year and 15-year mortgage rates continue to be at or near record lows.”
Bois said that interest rates have a major impact on housing affordability and potential sales.

“The average 30-year fixed rate so far this year has averaged around 5 percent, compared to an average 8 percent rate in 2000. A full percent change in the interest rate can mean tens of thousands of dollars of costs over a 30-year mortgage, as well as a
significant change in the monthly mortgage payment.”

However, Bois warned that are some cautionary signs ahead. Pending sales for June are weak, indicating a temporary slump may be on the way, as the housing market tries to get back on its own feet absent any government stimulus.
Still Bois and Rockford Realtors believe in the long-term value of a home investment.

Statistics by the National Association of Realtors show that Rockford housing equity fared much better than the national average over the last seven years.
From 2003 to 2009, the average Rockford home gained $22,100 in equity versus a drop of $47,600 in the equity of an average U.S home.


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