By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — Homes in the region sold at their highest prices and moved off the market at the fastest-ever pace last year, according to year-end data released Tuesday by the NorthWest Illinois Alliance of Realtors.
The average sale price throughout 2022 was $179,616, a 5% increase from $170,567 in 2021. Homes sold after spending an average of 20.5 days on the market, down from an average of about 23 days the year before.
By comparison, the pace of home sales was more than double in 2020, when it took an average 43.5 days to sell. It took an average 46 days in 2019 and 52.5 in 2018.
“The 2022 Rockford regional housing market was nothing short of remarkable,” said Conor Brown, CEO of NorthWest Illinois Alliance of Realtors. “Inflation rose at a record pace, affecting every facet of the housing market.”
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Last year also saw mortgage rates double to nearly 7% in response to record inflation, but that didn’t cool a buying frenzy that often had buyers outbidding each other with higher prices. Mortgage rates have since fallen back slightly to 6.15%.
Prices were driven up by a surge in demand and a record-low number of homes for sale in the region.
There were just 370 homes for sale each month in 2022, an all-time low, according to the Realtors’ data. It is also a drop of nearly 13% from an average of 424 homes for sale each month in 2021. Five years ago, in 2018, there were an average 1,053 homes on the market each month.
“We really do need more homes in our market,” Brown said. “We saw massive inventory declines the last four years. … If you are contemplating selling a home, think about it now.”
Brown said the organization’s data shows buyers start searching for homes in January, and the spring market typically kicks off shortly after the Super Bowl, which is Feb. 12 this year.
“Keep in mind it’s still a seller’s market,” Brown said. “You’ve certainly seen enormous price appreciation over the last five years, on average about $45,000. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of that.
“Plus, homes are selling in less than three weeks, half the time it took three years ago. It doesn’t get much better than that for sellers.”
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The low inventory meant fewer sales at higher prices. There were 4,578 homes sold in Boone, Winnebago and Ogle counties last year, but that’s 12% less than 2021. It’s also the lowest total sales in five years and the third-largest drop in history.
The most significant drops happened amid the Great Recession after the housing bubble burst. There was a nearly 32% drop in sales in 2008 and a nearly 19% drop in sales in 2007.
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Sales volumes dropped even greater in Illinois and across the nation. Sales were down 17% across the state and nearly 18% across the country.
This article is by Kevin Haas. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @KevinMHaas or Instagram @thekevinhaas