The local housing market in 2017 experienced its best year in a decade -- reaching new milestones in both total sales and average price -- largely fueled by economic growth of the Rockford region.
Sales highest in 11 years Housing sales increased 4.9% from 4,275 sales in 2016 to 4,483 properties sold in 2017. This was more than twice the increase in housing sales of 2.2% from 2015 to 2016. This was the largest volume of sales in the last 11 years when sales reached 5,844 homes in 2007.
Sales up 11 of 12 months "The total number of homes sold exceeded sales 11 of 12 months compared to the previous year," Steve Bois, CEO, Rockford Area Realtors, said. "This has never occurred before, showing you the strength of the Rockford housing market."
Home prices up 6.9%; highest price since 2008 The three-month rolling average price rose 6.9% or an average $8,248 per home sold last year. The average price increased from $119,543 in 2016 to $127,791 in 2017. This marked the highest average price since 2008 (when houses sold for an average $138,251) and the second highest annual percentage increase in the last 14 years.
Distressed properties down from 15.3% to 11.5% of sales Another major milestone: A significant drop in the percentage of distressed properties as a percentage of total sales. Distressed property sales fell from 15.3% of sales in 2016 to 11.5% in 2017.
"Just four years ago, we hit levels as high as 55% of total housing sales coming from distressed property sales," Steve said. "Due in part to the second year of the City of Rockford Homebuyer's Tax Refund Program, the amount of distressed properties keeps moving toward normal levels."
Regional economic growth fueling housing sales Regional economic development promising long-term growth can be attributed to a significant part of the local housing growth, including community changeover from Transform Rockford, which has initiated 45 individual transformational projects.
One example: air cargo growth. On Saturday, Chicago Rockford International Airport reported that more than 1.3 billion pounds of cargo made its way through the air hub last year, a nearly 50% increase over 2016.
"This one indicator of key growth led to $800,000 in handling fees in 2017, 400 more jobs last year and the promise of 2,000+ jobs in the coming years, along with continued awareness-building of Rockford's reputation as a key logistics hub," Mike Schablaske, Executive Director, Transform Rockford said. "This is the kind of regional economic growth that holds promise for long-term growth for the Rockford region economy and housing market."
*Monthly statistics are generated from Rockford Paragon MLS and include house, condo, and duplex in Winnebago, Boone and Ogle counties. Information provided by the MLS shall be considered confidential and exclusively for the use of Participants and real estate licensees affiliated with such Participants, provided they are MLS members. Interest rates from Freddiemac.com are for the month of December 2016 vs. December2017. The data provided is considered accurate but is not guaranteed.