ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — While home prices rise across the nation, the Rockford-area housing market has been named the most competitive in Illinois.

For the first time ever, both Machesney Park and Loves Park have topped the Northwest Illinois Alliance of Realtors’ list of most competitive Illinois markets.

“Buyers want to come in and they want to purchase homes in great communities like this, and this presents a situation where there’s just a lot of competition driving these prices up,” said NIAR’s CEO Connor Brown.

Brown said there is heavy demand in Machesney Park and Loves Park, with the latest data from September showing year-over-year price increases, along with houses spending a shorter time for sale.

The average home price in Loves Park is around $158,000, up 6% from last year. The average home price in Macheseney Park is over $200,000, up significantly over September 2022.

Loves Park Mayor Greg Jury said, “It’s an opportunity for a city like ours to get some builders in here to build some homes to bring them into the city. We’ve had some that we are talking to and there are some… three or four different areas on the eastern part of Loves Park that are right now being built with some homes.”

Machesney Park Mayor Steve Johnson added, “It’s very very impressive for us, a very exciting time for the village of Machesney Park because of the fact that I’ve been hearing this from the public that we need home building, we need to increase our capacity because we have job creations coming and people want to find jobs and places to live.”

The mayors said they believe new home buyers are attracted by the local state park and school districts.