Rockford-area home prices hit 13-year high
Homes in the Rockford, Ill., region sold for $147,000 on average last month, the highest monthly average price since July 2006, according to Rockford Area Realtors.
The growing sale prices are another indicator of a healthy housing market, the Realtors group says. Boone, Winnebago and Ogle counties haven't seen prices this high since home values peaked in 2006 before the housing bubble burst and The Great Recession took hold in December 2007.
"There's no doubt that the Rockford housing market is changing," said Conor Brown, CEO of Rockford Area Realtors. "What we're seeing right now indicates it's a strong time for sellers to enter the real estate market."
Tax assessors say home values across the county are on the rise, with the taxable value of a home in Winnebago County up approximately 6% since last year, according to the Winnebago County supervisor of assessment's office. Higher home values can deliver higher tax bills, and last week Mayor Tom McNamara joined with leaders from five other government bodies to pledge to keep their property tax levies flat.
Rockford Public Schools, which makes up the largest portion of a city taxpayer's bill at 52%, also joined the pledge with Chicago Rockford International Airport, Rock Valley College, Rockford Public Library and Rockford Township.
There were 459 homes sold in July, and it took an average 36 days for a home to sell.
The three-month-rolling-average price of a home sold in the region was up nearly 3% from June. It's also up about 3.5% from July 2018. The average year-to-date price is $135,160, an increase of more than 2% compared to the first seven months of 2018.
"What a difference a year makes," Brown said. "Over the last few years, many sellers are seeing themselves put in a stronger and stronger position to put their house on the market."
There were 708 new home listings in July, up nearly 11% from July 2018. This was the fifth time in the last 12 months that there was a year-over-year increase in homes for sale. So far this year, the inventory of homes for sale is down about 5%. However, inventory was shrinking at a greater pace in previous years. Inventory fell nearly 13% from 2017 to 2018 and was down nearly 19% from 2016 to 2017.
Low mortgage rates are also spurring home buying, Brown said. In July, the 30-year-fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.75%, down from 4.54% in July 2018.
"The Rockford housing market offers major incentives for both buyers and sellers," Brown said. "Rockford home buyers are saving big as interest rates are continuing to decline. And Rockford home sellers will likely earn some of the greatest returns on their investment by selling now before prices start to normalize."