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Will County home sales jump in 2012; more than 7,500 sold

Home sales rose Southllast year.

Home sales rose in the Southland last year.

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Updated: February 24, 2013 6:17AM



Will County cracked 7,000 home sales last year for the first time since 2007.

Home sales jumped 28 percent, from 5,872 in 2011 to 7,515, according to statistics released Tuesday by the Illinois Association of Realtors.

The last time Will County had more than 7,000 home sales was when it hit 7,948 in 2007. The recession started in December of that year.

“Things have been improving,” said David McClintock, CEO of the Joliet-based Three Rivers Realtors Association. “Inventory is down a little, which shows properties are moving. ... There’s been a pent-up demand to purchase and a pent-up demand to sell.”

That’s good news for all the people who get business from home sales including surveyors, home inspectors, stores that sell appliances and bedding, title companies, law offices, lenders and, of course, real estate agents, McClintock said.

“All in all, we’re very optimistic,” he added.

There was other good housing news in the association’s report. Last year, the average Will County home spent 94 days on the market before being sold, down from 103 in 2011. Also, the inventory of homes in Will County dropped from 5,353 in December 2011 to 3,272 last month.

The only statistic that remained in the red was the median sales price, which decreased from $160,000 in 2011 to $157,000 last year, a drop of 1.9 percent. The number is much lower than a high of $213,500 reached in 2005 when Will County was one of the fastest growing counties in the nation and a record 11,919 homes were sold.

“I don’t think you’re going to get back to anything like that,” McClintock said.

Home values will probably remain lower because after watching four years of “values falling through the floor,” no one is going to overvalue a home and have it sit on the market unsold, he explained.

Things also were looking up last year in:

◆ Kendall County, where the total number of home sales increased 16.8 percent, from 1,610 in 2011 to 1,880. Homes spent only 87 days on the market, down from 104 in 2011. The inventory of homes for sale dropped from 1,119 in December 2011 to 663 last month, a decline of 40.8 percent. But the median price fell slightly, from $156,900 in 2011 to $155,000 last year.

◆ Grundy County, where home sales increased 13.9 percent, from 452 in 2011 to 515 last year. The average number of days on the market fell slightly, from 115 to 112. But the inventory of homes for sale dropped 25.7 percent, from 456 to 339. Unlike Will and Kendall counties, the median home price increased 6.6 percent in Grundy County, from $132,250 in 2011 to $141,000.

◆ Statewide, 2012 home sales were up 22.9 percent from the previous year and median home prices increased 0.7 percent.

“Throughout 2012 we saw signs the state’s housing market was recovering,” said Michael Oldenettel, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors. “When you look at where we were in January 2012 versus where we ended up in December, you have to be impressed with the market’s resilience.”

Geoffrey Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois, said representatives in Springfield and Washington D.C. need to resolve fiscal challenges to keep the momentum going.

“Declining consumer confidence reflects the uncertainties; consumers are unlikely to explore major purchases, especially of houses, when tax rates, mortgage interest deductions and pension obligations remain unresolved.”



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