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Local Housing Market

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‘Just Let Me Buy A House’: Hot Rockford Real Estate Market Creates Bidding Wars For Buyers

September 15, 2021- Krista Everling spent about five months watching her home-buying plans unravel as her offers were outbid time and time again.

It happened “more than I can count,” the 39-year-old mother of two said.

“I got outbid every time because somehow people have cash to go like $15,000, $20,000 over what the house has been appraised at,” Everling said. “I’m like, c’mon people: Just let me buy a house.”

Her experience is emblematic of a hot real estate market that has seen prices in the Rockford region surge to record highs this summer while homes sold at their fastest pace in history. It also created a rush to buy sometimes just hours after a house hits the market.

Once equated to a garage sale, where buyers could haggle for prices lower than sellers were asking, today’s real estate market is now more like an auction. Well over half of all buyers – 56% – have faced bidding wars in their offers, according to recent Rockford Area Realtors surveys.

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Rockford Home Prices Keep Rising. Should You Buy Now Or Wait For A Dip?

September 21, 2021- The old adage in real estate is that there are three things that matter: location, location, location.

But, in an ultra-competitive housing market that has pushed prices to all-time highs while homes sell at the fastest pace ever, a new aspect has entered buyers’ mindsets: timing.

Some would-be buyers wonder whether to wait for the market to cool off to capture lower prices. Others worry the skyrocketing prices foreshadow another housing market collapse like the nation underwent roughly 15 years ago.

“I think it’s in the back of everyone’s mind, particularly with the last recession and how hard things took a downturn,” said Conor Brown, CEO of Rockford Area Realtors. “I can understand with that being so fresh that people may think that could be looming out there.”

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‘Superheated Demand’: Rockford Area Home Sale Prices Hit Another Record High

September 29, 2021 - Home sale prices in the region climbed to another record high in August as buyers continue to compete in bidding wars for a limited supply of houses.

The three-month rolling average price of a home sold in Boone, Winnebago and Ogle counties was $177,626 in August, the highest price since the stat was first collected in 1998, according to statistics released Wednesday by Rockford Area Realtors. That’s $21,350 more than what homes sold for last August and nearly $1,300 more than the previous record high of $176,345 in June.

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Younger generation of realtors on the rise

September 29, 2021- After a record-breaking month of home sales, Rockford’s real estate market is growing in more ways than one.

“We’re certainly seeing a change in the face of our membership,” Rockford Area Realtors CEO Conor Brown says.

523 homes were sold in August, the highest number in more than a year. This recent surge is driving a new wave of realtors into the industry. While experts say the average age of an agent is 52-years old, that’s not stopping younger people from finding success in the market.

The real estate industry has also seen a rise in the number of young homebuyers. Now there’s a rise in young realtors. Ross Garnhart is a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway. He sold his first home at 19 years old.

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Rockford area home sales have skyrocketed to their highest average price since 1998

September 30, 2021 - Historically low inventory coupled with robust demand fueled a surge in home prices in the Rockford area in August.

The three-month rolling average sale price of a single family home in Winnebago, Boone and Ogle counties reached $177,626 last month.

The figure represents a 13.6% increase compared to August 2020 and is the highest average sale price for the three county region since the statistic was first tabulated in 1998.

The average sale price of single family homes in the region has reached record levels for three consecutive months, dating back to June.

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Home Sale Prices In Rockford Region Break Record High For 5th Time This Year

October 25, 2021- Home sale prices in the region hit another historic high last month, the fifth time this year the average price set a new record.

The three-month rolling average price of a home sold in Winnebago, Boone and Ogle counties rose to $179,351, an increase of more than $21,000 or nearly 15% over last September.

“September’s home price growth was the most that we’ve ever seen, with extremely limited supply and superheated demand fueling these increases,” Conor Brown, CEO of Rockford Area Realtors, said in a news release.

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Rockford area sees highest number of homes for sale in nearly a year

October 25, 2021 - Another month, another record for housing prices in the Rockford area.

The three-month rolling average price of a single-family home sold in Winnebago, Boone and Ogle counties rose to $179,351 in September marking a nearly 15% increase compared to figures from a year earlier, according to the Rockford Area Realtors.

“September’s home price growth was the most that we’ve ever seen,” fueled by limited supply and high demand, Realtors CEO Conor Brown said in a news release.

Last month’s tally marks the fifth time this year that the three-month average home price in the three-county survey area has reached a record high

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Home sales in the stateline hit historic levels

October 25, 2021 - Home sales in the Rockford area are hitting historic levels.

September was a good month for sellers, where prices increased at rates never seen before. The price of a home in some stateline counties is at nearly $180,000, but housing experts warned that every market is temporary, and despite some homes selling in just two weeks, this could come to an end soon, as an increase in interest rates in seen.

Rising inflation could continue to drive rates higher, but Conor Brown, with the Rockford Area Realtors, said that he is not expecting a crash.

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Booming housing market creates benefits and challenges

October 25, 2021 - While many industries are still coping with the effects of the pandemic, one is stronger than ever. In Rockford and around the nation, the housing market is in the middle of one of its best years.

“Rockford’s now crested over a billion dollars in terms of our residential market throughout the region,” says Rockford Area Realtors CEO Conor Brown. “This is significant. This has truly been a rising tide that’s lifted all ships. Everyone’s benefitted these past few years.”

When Brown says everyone’s benefitted, he’s not just talking about realtors. For every home sold, an estimated $8,000 goes back into the community in retail sales

“Every time that we sell a house, that changeover spills into retailers,” he says.

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‘An Intense Seller’s Market’: Home Sale Prices In Rockford Region Hit Record High For Third Straight Month

December 2, 2021- It’s starting to sound like a broken record. Home sale prices in the region have broken another record.

The three-month rolling average price of a home sold in Winnebago, Boone and Ogle counties reached $179,355 in October, according to Rockford Area Realtors. It’s the third straight month of new record high prices and the sixth time in 10 months a new record high was set. The average sale price is 15% more than October 2020.

The record-breaking prices are spurred by historically low mortgage rates, a low inventory of homes on the market and a nesting instinct inspired by the pandemic, according to the Realtors group.

“It’s an intense seller’s market,” Conor Brown, CEO of Rockford Area Realtors, said in a news release. “Buyers fear missing out on the housing boom.”

The average home sale price over the first 10 months of the year is up 14.5% to $168,045, compared to $146,790 during the same time period last year.

“Exactly when we will reach the peak in this housing market is hard to tell,” Brown said.

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Newlyweds bond together in fast-moving real estate market

December 2, 2021- When Doug Britt’s wife, Janet Churchill got a bit overwhelmed with work, he took it as an opportunity to join her and be her cheerleader along the way. Britt says, “We get to spend all this time together otherwise we wouldn’t see each other.” Churchill agrees, “You get two for the price of one.”

Churchill got her realtor license for Illinois and Wisconsin about five years ago and now works for Keller Williams. Britt is the Chief Executive officer of Golden Corridor Family YMCA and is now a part-time realtor with this wife. She says, “Business had grown so much thT I couldn’t handle it all on my own. So during COVID, Doug decided he was going to help me. He studied for his license passed his license.”

They both say the partnership seems to work for the current house they are working on. Britt has a buyer and Churchill has the seller. She says, “Keeping a balance between our home life and our work life is key. Every Friday, we have a standing date to go out to a local restaurant for lunch and we take the rest of the day off. That helps with, you know, with kinda keeping things in balance.”

Rockford area realtor’s CEO Conor Brown says in October 487 homes were sold in the Rockford region with an average sale price of more than $197,000. Both Janet and Doug say it’s a good time to be a realtor.

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Disabled Rockford veteran lives dream of becoming a homeowner

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Rockford real estate experts say now is a great time for first time home buyers

December 2, 2021- If you're looking to buy your first home, now is a great time to do it according to real estate experts.

Sales for first time home buyers are down this year and the prices of homes in October was $179,000 on average. Giving new buyers more chances to break into the market.

However, homes are still selling faster than this time last year.

In October, homes sold at a rapid rate of 16 days on average, compared to 30 days last October.

For one Pecatonica resident, Emily Gibson, she says she overcame all kinds of obstacles, but was able to land her first home.

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Mortgage rates climbing faster than in 2021

January 7, 2022- Mortgage rates are continuing to climb into the new year.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.22% this week, up from 3.11% last week. This week's jump in the first week of the new year is higher than at any point in 2021.

Experts at the National Association of Realtors say the 30-year figure will rise to 3.7% by the end of 2022. Other analysts estimate that the number may reach 4%.

One local expert says a small percentage change in the mortgage rates can make a huge difference in making the decision in buying a home.

"The interest rate difference in one half of one percent on a $150,000 house is $42 per month," says Pam DeSanti, Vice President of Mortgage Lending at Midwest Community Bank in Rockford. "For some people, that could make or break what their qualifying is. To others it may not have a significant impact."

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Realtors remain confident about selling homes in a rising housing market

January 12, 2022- Illinois saw a mass migration out of the state in 2021 due to at-home workers seeking a change in scenery. However, housing in Rockford costs 30% less than other areas of the state according to Rockford Area Realtors, a fact that home sellers are trying to push.

Valerie Hoglund has worked from home for the majority of the pandemic. Hoglund says she considered moving, but with house prices rising, she chose to stay.

“Even if I had just moved to Rockford, I would like it. There’s a lot to do, it’s a pretty town,” Hoglund told 23 News.

In fact, the average price for a home in the state is $246,000 but Rockford home prices come in $70,000 less with an average price near $175,000. Rockford Area Realtors CEO Conor Brown says the Forest City is seeing a rise in migration due to first-time homebuyers and retirees looking to own multiple homes.

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REALTORS® in the News

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Young Professionals Network hosts fundraiser benefiting Family Peace Center

March 11, 2020 - 23 News Anchor Shannon Kelly had the chance to get behind the bar along with Mayor Tom Mcnamara for the Rockford area realtors Young Professionals Network celebrity bartending event. The main attraction was dare-aoke.

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Rockford Area REALTORS® donate $10K to help local Family Peace Center

December 6, 2020 - The Young Professionals Network of the Rockford Area REALTORS® (RAR) showed its support this week for a project designed to help local survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, child abuse, elder abuse and human trafficking.

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Three local REALTOR® associations support their communities

August 14, 2020- Members of the Heartland REALTOR® Organization (HRO) of greater McHenry County, the REALTOR® Association of Northwestern Illinois (RANWIL) and the Rockford Area REALTORS® showed their community spirit in memorable ways during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As inspiration for their actions, the local associations drew from the RPAC Hearts for Healthcare Workers Challenge.

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Rockford Area Realtors teams up with local food bank this holiday season

November 19, 2020- A group of Stateline realtors teamed up with the Northern Illinois Food Bank to ensure the community doesn't go hungry.

Rockford Area Realtors usually hosts an annual holiday event where people donate funds and the groups donate the money to a local non-profit. This year, because of the pandemic, it wasn't able to host the event.

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Rockford Area Realtors contributes to Rebuilding Rockford campaign

January 21, 2021 - The Rockford Area Realtors presented a $10,000 check to the community-led Rebuilding Rockford Campaign to express support for the extension of a city of Rockford public roads and infrastructure referendum that will appear on the Consolidated Election ballot on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.

Rockford Area Realtors supports the community-led campaign with $10,000 to continue its efforts to educate voters on the extension of the 1 percent public roads and infrastructure sales tax.

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REALTORS® partner with 23 local governments to pass fair housing resolutions during Fair Housing Month

April 2021 - From Belvidere to Belleville, local governments locked arms with local REALTORS® to pass fair housing resolutions during Fair Housing Month in 2021.

Each year, April is recognized by Congress as Fair Housing Month in the United States to commemorate the passage of the Fair Housing Act in 1968. This year, the Illinois REALTORS® encouraged the passage of fair housing proclamations by local government bodies across the state.

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Boone County REALTORS® continue support of local real estate development with grant money

July 8, 2021- Boone County REALTORS®, a chapter of Rockford Area REALTORS®, gave a $2,500 grant to Growth Dimensions Economic Development for Belvidere & Boone County this summer.

The grant money is one of several contributions local REALTORS® have made to help bring commercial and residential development to the area, according to Illinois REALTORS® Local Governmental Affairs Director Neeley Erickson. Boone County members have built strong relationships with Growth Dimensions, and Boone County REALTORS® President Christi Steines is a member of the Growth Dimensions Board of Directors.

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Rockford Area Realtors raises money for Miss Carly’s through Epic Water Battle

July 22, 2021- An epic battle took place in Rockford on Thursday...an epic water battle, that is.

It was held by Rockford Area Realtors at Sportscore One. Teams could sign up and compete against each other by trying to throw as many water balloons as possible into buckets in three minutes. The event aimed to raise money for Miss Carly's. The group provides food, shelter and supplies for homeless people in Rockford as well as helps people struggling with poverty and drug addiction.

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‘For Everyone To Enjoy’: New Deck Overlooks Levings Lake In Rockford

November 3, 2021 - A new deck overlooking the banks of Levings Lake will give park-goers a place to relax, picnic or watch the action at West Rock Wake Park.

Members of the Rockford Area Association of Realtors put some of the finishing touches on the project Wednesday by planting a pair of trees near the park’s entrance at 1420 Pierpont Ave.

The Realtors provided a $5,000 grant to help cover the cost of building the composite wood deck, which replaces picnic benches that rested in a sandy bank of the lake that had once served as a beach.

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REALTORS® show their support for Rockford by securing $12.1K for three park district projects

November 5, 2021- After raising funds to help the Rockford Park District with a portable fitness project for local youths, the Rockford Area REALTORS® (RAR) are using their influence to help the park district develop one park and improve another one.

First, RAR applied for and secured a $1,500 National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Placemaking Level 1 Grant and added $150 of its own funds to support a Youth Fitness Pop-Up Park.

Over the course of nine days, park district volunteers used an empty lot next to Clarence Hicks Memorial Sports Park on the city’s southwest side to test the idea. Using signage to identify the activities and educate participants, volunteers led boys and girls in track and field activities and helped them safely use power fitness ropes, plyometric boxes and other exercise equipment.

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