By Michelle Manchir,
Chicago Tribune reporter
4:19 p.m. CST, January 22, 2013
More condos and homes in Oak Park were sold in
2012 than in 2011 or 2010, according to data released by the village this
A total of 726 homes, including foreclosed
properties, were sold in 2012, compared with 479 in 2011 and 487 in 2010,
according to the report from the clerk's office.
The average sale price of homes also increased
from 2011 to 2012, according to the village's data, from $287,548 to $301,202.
But that's still below the average home sale price in 2010, which
Jane McClelland, who said she's been in the
real estate business for more than 30 years and is the vice president of the
Oak Park Area Association of Realtors, believes people are coming back into the
housing market because, among other reasons, of low interest rates and may feel
like they have more job security.
"They recognize it's a great time to
buy," McClelland said.
The local news reflects a statewide trend. In
Illinois, home sales last year through November 2012 increased to 113,839 over
sales through November 2011, which was 92,139, according to the most recent
data release from the Illinois Association of Realtors.
According a report McClelland compiled by
using data from Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC, home and condo sales in River
Forest and Forest Park also increased last year over 2011.
In River Forest 99 homes were sold in 2012
compared to 78 homes in 2011. In Forest Park, 75 homes were sold in 2012,
compared to 48 in 2011. More condos and townhomes were also sold in both
suburbs in 2012. In Forest Park 90 townhomes and condos were sold in 2012,
compared with 63 in 2011. In River Forest, 64 condos and townhomes were sold in
2012, while 37 were sold in 2011.
Still, there are signs the market is still in
a rebound stage. According to McClelland's data, average housing prices dropped
in all categories except for single-family homes in Oak Park and one-bedroom
condos in River Forest.
"In short, while prices have continued to
decrease, the buyers are coming back into the market," McClelland's report
Mike Long, a Wheaton real estate agent who
sits on the board of the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors, which includes
portions of suburban Cook County, said some sellers still may be taking a hit.
He said prices can largely depend on a neighborhood, and whether a particular
street has seen foreclosures.
In Oak Park, added sales means more real
estate transfer taxes pouring into village coffers, which is part of the
village's general revenue fund and is used to offset the costs of services,
said Tammie Grossman, housing programs manager for the village.
Last year the village gained $1,770,025 in
real estate transfer taxes from the sales of single family homes, compared with
$1,113,984 the previous year, according to a report from the village.