ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Home sales across the nation are booming as mortgage rates hit record lows. One local realtor shared what’s behind the buying frenzy and says the deals are good enough to draw those who’ve moved out of their hometown back after decades away.
Realtors say the Statelinee housing market has drastically improved over the last several years. Rather than looking to move out of the area, people are looking to move in.
“If you look back at the lows in the region, 2012, ’13, ’14, realtors couldn’t price the homes low enough. Now it’s the reverse, they can’t seem to price them high enough. There’s just enormous demand out there from buyers,” said Conor Brown, the CEO of Rockford Area Realtors.
Conor Brown from the Rockford Area Realtors says homes in Winnebago, Boone, and Ogle counties sold at record-setting prices in July.
“Certainly, over the past decade, particularly during the Great Recession, we saw a number of people move out of the region looking for economic opportunity. I think we’ve kind of righted that ship,” he added.
Boone County specifically was a desired location for home buyers last month. 90 homes were sold in July, up from 57 at the same time one year ago.
Michelle Huber, a realtor for Dickerson and Niemann, thinks lower taxes, newer homes, and School District 100 is drawing in buyers to Boone County.
“I joked at one point that it felt like every person I’d spoke to about real estate called me in the past two months, but it was kind of the case. I had investors, I had first-time buyers, I had people downsizing, I had people moving out of state, multi-units. Everything you can think of has been moving right now,” Huber said.
Marc Strandquist recently bought a house in Rockford. He was born and raised in the Forest City but moved away in 1987. He says he came back because he thinks Rockford has a lot to offer while being more affordable than most big cities.
“From where we live, within 10 minutes, I can get to about anything I need. There’s two major hospitals, plenty of clinics, plenty of restaurants, plenty of shopping, you name it,” Standquist said.
Brown says he expects the market to stay strong as mortgage rates remain low during the COVID-19 pandemic.