Positive housing market ahead for Western Springs

BY JANE MICHAELS | jmichaels@pioneerlocal.com January 8, 2013 7:58AM

WESTERN SPRINGS — Slow but steady improvement is likely to characterize the housing market for the start of 2013, according to one local real estate broker.

“We had a good year last year, and a couple weeks before the election, it slowed down, but that’s not unusual,” said Bonnie Hampton, managing broker and owner of Prudential American Homes in Western Springs.

The market is “chugging along slowly, but I think January will be good,” Hampton said. “Prices have bottomed out. The major price adjustments have been done. We’ll just have a slow climb out.”

Hampton said homes have moved at the $500,000 and $600,000 price points, as well as between $200,000 and $300,000.

The Mainstreet Organization of Realtors, which compiles statistics reported by area sales agents, notes activity jumped substantially in the first 11 months of 2012 with 145 homes sold compared to 96 each in 2011 and 2010 in Western Springs.

Home prices continued to decline with the average dropping from $575,087 in 2010 to $548,432 in 2011 and $483,526 in 2012. But houses moved more quickly with the average number of days on the market dropping form a high of 277 in 2010 to 174 in 2011 and 118 in 2012.

Hampton noted that condominium and townhouse sales, which had declined substantially, also have begun to improve.

“Many were overpriced, and they’re now down to 2002 prices,” she said. “They’re more affordable and are now selling so much better.”

Mainstreet reports sales of attached single-family homes doubled from a year ago with 16 sales in Western Springs in 2012, compared to 8 in 2011 and 9 in 2010. Average sales dipped from $205,227 in 2010 to $173,909 in 2011, but recovered to $191,833 in 2012.

But those units took longer to sell with average days on the market climbing from 112 in 2010 to 237 in 2011 and 263 in 2012.

Foreclosures haven’t been an issue in Western Springs, though there have been more short sales, Hampton observed.

As the market continues to improve, Western Springs and other communities along commuter rail lines will have an advantage.

“Especially younger people and couples love being close to the tracks, not only for work, but to jump on the train to go downtown for the weekend and dinner,” Hampton said.

» View the article on The Doings Western Springs site.
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