By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — Home sale prices in the region hit another historic high last month, the fifth time this year the average price set a new record.
The three-month rolling average price of a home sold in Winnebago, Boone and Ogle counties rose to $179,351, an increase of more than $21,000 or nearly 15% over last September.
“September’s home price growth was the most that we’ve ever seen, with extremely limited supply and superheated demand fueling these increases,” Conor Brown, CEO of Rockford Area Realtors, said in a news release.
Record prices haven’t dampened demand. There were 533 homes sold in September, the largest number of September sales in 16 years. There were 615 home sales in September 2006. Last month saw a 6% increase in home sales from the 503 sold in September 2020.
“This remains a seller’s market,” Brown said. “Sellers throughout the region continue to benefit from multiple offer situations. It will remain a seller’s market until average prices level out more.”
Sales for the year are on a torrid pace, Realtors said. Year-to-date sales are up more than 4% from 2020, and will mark the highest number of homes sold in 15 years if this pace continues.
Sale prices have risen as buyers often compete in bidding wars for a limited supply of homes. However, last month housing supply increased to its highest level in 11 months. There were 593 properties on the market at the start of the month, although that is still down more than 3% from 613 last September.
“Some improvement in supply helped move up sales in September,” Brown said in the news release. “More available demand helped spur on the many buyers in the market to close on a home.”
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Homes remained on the market an average of 15 days in September, up slightly from the record 13 days in August and July. That’s still about half of the 31 days a home spent on the market in September 2020.
“The homes that were on the market, while fewer when compared to last year, were snapped up quickly,” Brown said.
Rockford’s housing market continues to outpace both Illinois and the nation in price growth. Home sale prices increased nearly 15% in Rockford compared to 13% across the country and 6% in Illinois.
Low mortgage rates have spurred the scorching real estate market, but those rates have now risen above 3% for the first time since April, according to Freddie Mac, the federal home loan corporation. The rate averaged 3.05% for the week ending Oct. 14.
Some experts are predicting rates as high as 3.4% by December, the Realtors said in a news release.
“This rise in interest rates will likely spur more activity, especially among first-time homebuyers, who typically make up one-third of the market,” Brown said. “Lower interest rates help first-time buyers afford more house while keeping monthly mortgage payments down.”