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Home sales, prices climb in Tri-Cities

The housing market in and around the Tri-Cities continued to show signs of improvement in October, even as the number of homes sold through foreclosure or short sale increased.

According to the latest round of home sale statistics from organizations representing local real estate agents, the number of homes sold in the Tri-Cities and in Kane County increased last month.

In the Tri-Cities of St. Charles, Geneva and Batavia, the number of homes sold in October in the three communities combined climbed about 29 percent, compared to the same month in 2011.

The MainStreet Organization of Realtors, a trade group representing Chicago area real estate agents, reported 102 homes were sold in the Tri-Cities last month, compared to 79 in October 2011.

The sharp increase in home sales came as a result of similarly strong increases in the sales of homes listed traditionally and those listed under distress – meaning they were sold as a result of foreclosure or through a short sale.

The number of distressed properties sold in the Tri-Cities last month spiked 26 percent –  from 27 homes sold in October 2011 to 34 last month.

However, the distressed properties accounted for less of the total volume of Tri-Cities’ home sales, MainStreet data showed. Distressed properties claimed 33 percent of the market, down from 34 percent in October 2011.

In Kane County, home sales in October surged, increasing by 39.6 percent, from 432 homes sold in October 2011 to 603 homes sold last month, according to data supplied by the Illinois Association of Realtors.

The jump in home sale volume, however, produced mixed results on home prices.

In Kane County, the median sale price fell by 3.6 percent to $134,900 in October, the IAR said.

But in the Tri-Cities, home prices appeared to edge into positive territory.

The MainStreet Organization data showed home sellers inking a deal with buyers in nondistressed, traditional sales fetched a median price of $305,166 in the Tri-Cities. That was up about 5.3 percent from October 2011.

Distressed properties continued to sell at significant discounts, holding down median sale prices for the market.

Information supplied by MainStreet showed foreclosed homes in the Tri-Cities sold at a 17 percent discount in October compared to traditional nondistressed sales. And homes acquired through short sale were sold at a discount of about 29 percent.

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