Housing market on upward trend


Positive. That is how local realtors expect the housing market to look in 2018. December 2017 ended the year on a positive note and realtors expect the trend to continue into the new year.
According to Forbes magazine, over the last two years home prices on average across the nation have been rising five to six percent.
Carrie Ottum, managing broker with Weichert Realtors, advises buyers and sellers that she expects 2018 to be a positive year.
“Interest rates are still staying low and the values of homes are rising,” stated Ottum. “There are a lot of good quality, well maintained older homes priced right.”
In the Rochelle area houses are on the market an average of two to three months.
John Bearrows, ReMax Hub City associate, echoed Ottum stating he expects the market to remain strong in 2018.  
“Activity has been very good, even through the winter,” stated Bearrows. “There is not an overabundance of houses on the market and they are on the market for less days. Whenever a seller puts a house on the market if it is priced right it will sell quickly.”
Tim Hayden, with Hayden real estate explained the shortage began in the last four to six months and is not only a local issue but is seen across the country. He explained one aspect of the shortage is related to the lack of new construction in the last 10 years. Contractors are not building new homes and current home owners are not upgrading resulting in less available on the market.
According to Freddie Mac, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, baby boomers have been slower to sell the family home than previous generations. Reasons behind baby boomers staying put include living longer and healthier and rising home prices. Due to the rising home prices, smaller homes cost similar to their current house.
“The market has continued to improve the last five years and I am optimistic for this year,” stated Hayden. “Spring and summer time are traditionally the best time to sell. I encourage sellers to start doing research and be ready to move sooner than later.”
According to Zillow, the median home value in Illinois is $170,300. Home values have gone up 3.7 percent over 2017 and Zillow predicts values to continue to rise.
While it is considered to be a seller’s market, Bearrows explained it is a good time for both sellers and buyers.
“The time is right,” stated Bearrows. “Interest rates are fantastic and programs are available for first time buyers and veterans.”
Hayden added, “There is a wide variety of lending choice available. I encourage buyers to work with a local lender you have a relationship with.”
Ottum encourages those looking to buy and sell to find a good quality agent to help with their real estate investments.
“The process is more difficult than you think,” stated Ottum. “A realtor can guide you through the whole process.”
Bearrow added, “the Rochelle market is a fantastic market. The active community is a very attractive community to relocate to.”


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