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Realtor: Home Sales, Prices Up in Oswego

Feb 24, 2016 07:42PM ● Published by Shannon Antinori

If you’re looking to sell your Oswego home, you’re in luck – but you should act fast.

Home sales and median sale prices are up despite low inventory of houses on the market, according to a report released by the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR).

Statewide, home sales in January 2016 were up 3 percent compared with a year ago. In the Chicago area, which includes Kendall, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Lake, McHenry and Will counties, sales were up 4.8 percent. The area saw a 9.1 percent increase in median sale price of homes, slightly less than the 9.3 percent state average.

But if you’re planning to sell, don’t wait until the grass starts growing and the flowers bloom, according to one Oswego realtor. Terry Anderson , a broker at John Greene Realtor in Oswego, said it’s a common misperception that spring is the best time to put your home on the market.

“It’s always been the case in our market that late January/early February is really when our spring begins,” he said, “Supply and demand are in your favor.”

This time of year, quality homes that are priced to sell are tough to find, Anderson added. In January, available housing inventory, including single-family homes and condos, totaled 55,447 homes statewide, down 12.6 percent since last year, according to the IAR.

Across Illinois, the median home sale price in January was $164,000, up from $150,000 a year ago. That’s less than the Oswego-area average of around $250,000, Anderson said.

“That doesn’t mean more expensive homes aren’t selling,” he said, citing a home on Cherry Road that recently sold for $485,000. But Anderson said he believes buyers are more careful not to buy more house than they can afford, thanks to the memory of the recent economic downturn led to a spike in foreclosures.

“I think lenders have a lot to do with that as well, which is good,” Anderson said. “We walked through that valley of death and came out the other side.”

Anderson said most realtors are cautious about predicting continued increases in the real estate market.

“It’s a steady increase, but we are slower to agree that the market is going up,” he said.

But the Illinois Association of Realtors was optimistic about what January home sales could mean for the rest of 2016.

"The year appears to be getting off to a strong start, in no small part due to a mild winter," said IAR President Mike Drews, broker-associate with Charles B. Doss & Co. in Aurora. "Sellers are getting very good overall prices due to diminished inventories. The strong consumer demand which was evident throughout 2015 seems to be holding firm as we start off 2016." 

More good news for sellers is that homes are selling faster than they were last year. It took an average of 79 days to sell a home in January 2016, down from 83 days a year ago.

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