Suburban Chicago Home Sales Increase 26.4 Percent in 2012

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. – The suburban Chicago housing market came roaring back in 2012, as sales of single-family detached homes increased 26.4 percent over the previous year, according to statistics released today by the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS® (MORe). 

Instead of slowing down for the holiday season, the market ended the year with a bang as sales of suburban single-family detached homes grew 17.1 percent in December from the previous year. 

Area REALTORS® remained busy right through the end of 2012, with many – including former MORe Co-President Tom Krettler of Palatine and Incoming President Michael Parent of St. Charles – working with clients on New Year’s Eve.

The momentum is expected to continue as the number of detached homes under contract in MORe’s region – which includes about 200 communities in DuPage, Lake and suburban Cook counties – grew by 58.3 percent in December. 

“We are cautiously optimistic for 2013, but that doesn’t mean people should wait to take advantage of this market,” said Tonya Corder, president of MORe and managing broker of Keller Williams Preferred Realty in Orland Park. “Interest rates will rise as the economy improves, making it more expensive to finance the purchase of a home.” 

Corder noted a recent report from Freddie Mac that showed fixed mortgage rates inched up following December’s positive employment report. 

Looking back at 2012

According to Corder, notable developments in the 2012 housing market included:

“The year of the investor:” Tantalizing home prices attracted investors, who have played an important role in rehabbing and returning distressed properties to the market.

Lower inventory and reduced time on market: The inventory of suburban homes on the market dropped from an average of 13.3 months in 2011 to 8.5 in 2012. Homes also sold more quickly in 2012, with an average of 21 fewer days on market than 2011.

Confidence Returns: Especially toward the end of the 2012, REALTORS® across suburban Chicago experienced a return of multiple offers along with a gradual uptick in home prices. 

Looking forward to 2013
First-time buyers back in the market: Low interest rates, affordable home prices and rising rents will make the 2013 market appealing for first-time homebuyers.

Distressed properties remain a reality: Foreclosures and short sales will continue to affect the market, but the effects of the still-to-be-released “shadow inventory” may be minimal if banks return homes to the market that are clean, updated and ready to sell. 

Credit must open up: If lenders loosen restrictive standards, they can help get the mortgage market moving again.

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MORe is dedicated to anticipating and serving the needs of more than 14,000 REALTORS®, affiliates and licensed appraisers in South, West and Northwest Suburban Chicagoland. MORe is the largest local REALTOR® member organization in Illinois and the fourth largest in the nation. To learn what a REALTOR® can do for you, visit​.

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