ROCKFORD (WREX) — If you own a home in the Rockford area, realtors say your investment is paying off.
"Their house is appreciating in value. That's significant," said Conor Brown, the Chief Executive Officer for Rockford Area Realtors.
Brown says on average, home sale prices rose 2.5% and sales volume was up nearly 5%. Numbers the region hasn't seen in at least 12 years. On top of that, the area has its lowest percentage of distressed properties for sale on record.
"I think that tells us we've stabilized coming out of the recession and we're really in a growth mode," said David Sidney, Executive Director of Transform Rockford.
But growth is something the region's housing market is still struggling with. New home construction is virtually stagnant. Brown says that growth is necessary to continue the forward momentum.
"We want that inventory, we want buyers to have good choices," said Brown.
High property taxes also weigh heavy on homeowners, and may deter potential home buyers. But Brown says people need to look at the big picture.
"We're in the top 15 percent of affordability, and yes that does include property taxes into that factor. So you can get a lot of house for your money," he said.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency recently said Rockford's home prices are growing faster than the state average, but they are still lower as a whole.