Real Estate News: October home sales increase 30 percent over 2010

Staff Report

Rockford Area Realtors sold 30.2 percent more homes this October than in October 2010, moving from 232 homes sold in 2010 to 302 homes in October 2011. This is the largest increase in year-over-year sales in 2011, the largest such increase since April 2010, and the fifth-straight month of year-over-year increases.

The three-month rolling average price fell slightly from last month, down 2.6 percent from $106,022 in September to $103,281 in October. Prices are still behind 2010 levels; the October 2010 average price was $119,968.

The equity markets are see-sawing, while we see more of a stable progression in housing,” said Steve Bois, CEO of Rockford Area Realtors. “Home sales are up significantly from last year, and we expect to see even more people taking advantage of these excellent affordability conditions with low mortgage interest rates.”

Rockford-area sales for the first 10 months of the year are at 2,677 properties, just 7 percent off 2,876 homes sold in the same period in 2010, a difference of 199 properties.

Bois predicts that if the average increase of 21 percent in sales for third quarter 2011 over 2010 holds, total housing sales for 2011 will end up just below 2010 totals. Annual sales would end up in the range of a 3 to 5 percent drop, which would make that the smallest drop in housing sales since the housing recession began in 2007.

The housing market is showing some positive signs in terms of sales volume with more sales expected in the category of homes priced less than $100,000,” Bois said.

The Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois forecasts that total home sales will be positive for November and December on a month-to-month and year-over-year basis, an unexpected outcome for the last quarter of the year when the market typically cools down.

Other October statistics by the Association also indicate good news. The absorption rate, the time it takes to sell an average home, decreased for the fourth month in a row, and the total inventory of properties for sale dropped for the fourth month in a row, now at 2007 inventory levels.

This is good news for the housing recovery, and especially first-time buyers,” Bois said.

National Association of Realtors stats show the number of female first-time homebuyers increased from 20 to 23 percent from 2009 to 2010, and male first-time homebuyers increased from 12 to 15 percent from 2009 to 2010, the highest share of males in 11 years. Both groups are also trending up in 2011.

From the Nov. 9-15, 2011, issue

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