Home sales up, prices down in greater La Grange area
Single-family home sales shot up 41 percent in La Grange in 2012, prompting optimism for this year from local Realtors.
Last year, 175 single-family homes were sold, up from 124 in 2011, according to statistics provided by the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors.
The numbers of sales for the La Grange, La Grange Park, Countryside and Western Springs area are higher than the overall suburban Chicago housing market, which saw a 26-percent increase in single-family homes sold last year.
“For the total market of Chicagoland, it’s a 23-percent increase,” said Dean Rouso, team leader for Dean Rouso Home Team of La Grange and director of sales development for Baird & Warner Real Estate. “We’re way above the market. We are literally double in terms of recovery.”
La Grange Park sold the same amount of single-family homes as La Grange in 2012, a 41.5-percent increase over the previous year. Countryside, meanwhile saw a 74-percent jump, with 33 homes sold in 2012, while Western Springs saw a 51-percent increase, with 158 homes sold.
“People are feeling comfortable they’ll keep their jobs,” said Steve Jasinski, broker at Dean Rouso Home Team. “There are more and more people wanting to get out here. We are a great destination. We have a great downtown, great school districts. It makes this a great place to be.”
Joan Smothers, owner of La Grange-based Smothers Realty Group, attributed the rise in sales to homeowners accepting the reality of the housing market readjustment following the market crisis.
“When this first happened, people thought they could just wait a year or two,” Smothers said. “It’s not going to happen and people have come to terms with that.”
While housing sales have gone up, average sale prices have gone down in 2012.
La Grange saw a 10-percent decrease in sale prices of single-family homes, with the average price slipping nearly $50,000 — from $479,395 to $429,868. Countryside saw a 6-percent decrease, down to $226,922, while Western Springs saw a 5-percent decrease in sales, from an average price of $541,344 in 2011 to $513,280 last year.
La Grange Park, however, saw a slight uptick in home prices for 2012, with the average price at $299,384 from $292,266.
“When the number of transactions increase, what comes trailing is increases in prices,” Rouso said. “In 2013, we’re going to see an increase in prices in La Grange, Western Springs and the La Grange Park area.”
Smothers said the prices are determined solely by the number of quality houses on the market, so she takes the statistics with a grain of salt. But she, too, is cautiously optimistic for housing sales this year.
“What I’m expecting to see is small increases, 2- to 3-percent in price ranges,” Smothers said. “I’m expecting decent increases and easier sales.”
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