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Local Business

Home market brightens in Tri-Cities in November

The housing market showed continued signs of improvement in the Tri-Cities and nearby communities last month.

According to the latest round of home sales data released by local real estate trade associations, the number of homes sold in the region increased sharply in November, while home prices also appeared to stabilize.

In the Tri-Cities of St. Charles, Geneva and Batavia, the number of detached single-family homes sold in November in the three communities combined climbed about 27 percent, compared to November 2011.

The MainStreet Organization of Realtors, a trade group representing Chicago-area real estate agents, reported 98 homes sold in the Tri-Cities in November, compared to 77 in the same month a year ago.

A strong increase in the number of homes sold through traditional listing methods – meaning homes not in foreclosure or subject to short sale – fueled much of the increase, particularly in St. Charles.

In that city, single-family homes sold traditionally increased from just 19 in November 2011 to 43 last month.

At the same time, the number of homes sold under “distress” – meaning as a result of foreclosure or short sale – also edged up slightly in the Tri-Cities, to 27 last month from 24 in November 2011.

But distressed properties decreased as a share of the total market place, dropping from 31 percent of all homes sold in the Tri-Cities in November 2011 to about 28 percent last month.

That number is also down from October 2012, when distressed properties accounted for 33 percent of all sales, MainStreet data showed.

In Kane County, home sales also surged again in November, jumping 34.6 percent, from 387 homes sold in November 2011 to 521 last month, according to information supplied by the Illinois Association of Realtors.

Sales of single-family homes in Kane County also increased, climbing 35.6 percent in November to 415 total closed sales.

The sustained stronger sales activity also may have helped to continue stabilizing home prices in the region.

In Kane County, for instance, the median sale price of single-family homes increased 1.5 percent to $157,000.

And in the Tri-Cities, an average of the median sale price for homes in each of the communities of St. Charles, Geneva and Batavia remained virtually unchanged, at $287,596 in November for single-family homes sold traditionally.

Distressed properties, however, continued to be a drag on the market, as homes sold via foreclosure or short sale netted significant discounts.

Information supplied by MainStreet showed foreclosed homes in the Tri-Cities sold at discounts of about 20 percent to 34 percent compared to traditional nondistressed sales. And homes acquired through short sale were sold at discounts of about 15 percent to 23 percent.

By the numbers

How many homes sold in your community – and at what price – in November?

St. Charles: 55 homes sold; 12 foreclosure or short sale; $294,500 median price for nondistressed traditional sale

Geneva: 22 homes sold; six foreclosure or short sale; $321,288 median price for nondistressed traditional sale

Batavia: 12 homes sold; six foreclosure or short sale; $247,000 median price for nondistressed traditional sale

Source: MainStreet Organization of Realtors

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