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Down Payment Assistance Program Leads To Spike In Rockford Area Home Sales

ROCKFORD - State program convinces many homebuyers to invest in the area.

ROCKFORD - State program convinces many home buyers to invest in the area.

The Rockford Area Realtors released its latest housing statistics for the month of April.  It says 344 homes were sold, up from 310 last year, and the highest total in the last six months.

"Spring is finally here" says RAR CEO Steve Bois.  "More buyers are ready to hunt for a home."

The average sales price for those homes went up as well.  The number jumped to $92,426, compared to just $88,142 in March.  Still, the market has a ways to go before reaching April 2012's level, which is $100,019.

RAR says many home buyers were first timers thanks to the state's Welcome Home Illinois program, which provides up to $7,500 in down payment assistance for those who qualify.  It launched April 1.

"First-time home buyers are crucial to the housing market and the economic recovery... as they stimulate move-up home buyers to higher-priced homes and spur added economic activity, from home improvements to household good sales."

Bois predicts the immediate future of the housing market looks bright.  Still, nearly half of the properties sold in April were foreclosures.

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