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Local News

More houses sold, higher prices

Agent: ‘Market starting to correct itself’

Most area real estate markets saw increases in the number of houses sold and the median sale price in May, compared with the same month a year before.

Recently, the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors released the numbers for suburban markets.

Fox Lake saw its median sale price increase from $66,850 to $160,000 and houses sold from eight to 19, according to the statistics. Barrington, meanwhile, had fewer houses sold, dropping from 52 in May a year ago to 36 this year, but the median price bumped up, from $527,500 to $563,750.

Round Lake also got positive news for homeowners. Its median sale price skyrocketed from $64,000 to $120,250, figures show.

In Anitoch, the number of sold homes increased from 22 to 42, while the median price declined from $203,250 to $172,500.

“Last year, what was moving was high-end stuff. Now it’s more foreclosures. They’re releasing them,” said Michael Lescher, a RE/MAX real estate agent in Antioch and Fox Lake.

In Fox Lake, he said, the “really slow” activity in 2013 wasn’t representative of what usually takes place.

“Prices are up for the Chicagoland area. That tapers off as you get to Fox Lake, Grayslake, Lake Villa, Wauconda, the far end of the suburban area,” he said. “When I look at Deer Park and Hawthorn Woods, we’re seeing some really good activity and prices. There is good demand.”

Pattie Palzet-Taylor, a RE/MAX real estate agent in Wauconda, said since the beginning of the year, the Wauconda market has seen far fewer closings on single-family houses than it did a year ago. But when only the month of May is compared, Wauconda has seen an increase from 22 to 28 houses, while the median price has jumped from $166,750 to $230,000.

“We had such a horrendous winter that wouldn’t end,” Palzet-Taylor said. “We had a regular winter in 2013. People were out and about.”

Mike Culat, an agent who sells houses in Antioch and Lake Villa for Advantage Realty, said year-to-date numbers show the effect of the harsh winter extending into April.

“May was a really good month. In June, we had rain after rain,” he said.

Markets are generally seeing a decline in foreclosures, Culat said.

“Fewer homes are being sold, and they’re being sold for more money,” Culat said. “The market is starting to purge itself. What we’re seeing now is regular, good saleable homes. The national peak of the market was in November 2008. It went downhill after that. Now prices are turning. The market is starting to correct itself.”

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