Home sales in the Woodstock area rose in 2016 over the previous year, according to Multiple Listing Service data.
In the 60098 zip code, 421 single-family homes were sold in 2016, an increase of about 8 percent over 2015’s total of 389. The average time those houses spent on the market dipped by a month, from 143 days in 2015 to 113 days in 2016.
“The thing that sticks out is that more homes are selling, but it’s still from the bottom up,” said Rick Bellairs, a real estate agent from Woodstock’s Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.
Most of the homes sold last year were listed in the $150,000 to $199,999 range. Only 11 homes in 60098 sold for $500,000 or more.
The average sales price from 2015 to 2016 was nearly unchanged in the Woodstock area, dropping slightly from $219,552 to $218,902.
Bellairs said he’s noticed the local market has been slower to recover than the inner suburbs, which generally have seen a bigger rise in sales and prices. Among the reasons for that, Bellairs believes, are other communities’ shorter commutes to Chicago and lower property tax rates.
“I have one home for sale in Bull Valley. Its taxes are $36,000 a year. That will keep a home from selling,” Bellairs said. “Who wants to pay $3,000 a month before you even touch the mortgage? But if we don’t have good schools, home values are less. The cost to having good schools is high tax bills.”
Arturo Flores, managing broker at Woodstock’s Success Realty Partners, said he’s optimistic about the local housing market this year.
“It has been a hot market,” Flores said. “… Overall,  was a great year for us. I’m hoping, for 2017, we get more inventory out there so things level out. If we don’t, I think the prices are just going to go up.”