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Home sales up in Tri-Cities

The local housing market showed signs of progress in September because the number of distressed properties sold through foreclosure or short sale declined from August.

According to the latest round of home sale statistics from the MainStreet Organization of Realtors, the total number of homes sold in the Tri-Cities in September also increased last month.

In the Tri-Cities of St. Charles, Geneva and Batavia, the number of homes sold last month in the three communities combined climbed about 27 percent, from 77 homes in September 2011 to 98 last month, according to data from the MainStreet Organization, a trade group representing Chicago area real estate agents.

The number of so-called distressed properties – homes under foreclosure or being sold for less than what is owed on the mortgage – accounted for less of the total housing market in September.

Last month, 23 distressed properties were sold in the Tri-Cities, the MainStreet Organization reported. That accounted for about 23.5 percent of all the homes sold in the three communities last month.

That was down from August, when the MainStreet Organization reported distressed properties accounted for 31 percent of home sales in the Tri-Cities.

Last month’s market share also was down compared to September 2011, when distressed properties accounted for 26 percent of all home sales in the Tri-Cities.

Despite the improvements in sales totals, home prices continued to slip in September.

According to data supplied by the MainStreet Organization, the average of the median sales prices in the three communities declined last month compared to 2011.

For nondistressed detached single-family homes sold in a traditional manner, the median price in the Tri-Cities slipped from about $307,000 to $282,000 in September.

Homes sold through foreclosure and short sales also fetched lower prices last month.

Bank-owned foreclosed properties were sold at a 46 percent discount compared to traditional sales. And short sales sold at a 29 percent discount.

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