The housing market in Woodstock appears to be strengthening, according to property sales data and local real estate agents.

Through the first six months of 2017, 208 single-family homes in 60098 sold at an average price of about $230,000, figures from the Multiple Listing Service show.

Over the same six-month period in 2016, 193 homes sold for an average of about $216,000.

“Woodstock is on a slow and steady recovery pattern,” said Rick Bellairs, a realtor at Berkshire Hathaway Starck Real Estate, 1710 S. Eastwood Drive. Still, the market hasn’t reached the heights of its peak in 2007, he said.

“We’re better than anywhere in the past eight or nine years, but we’re not where we were 10 years ago,” Bellairs said.

Most homes in the Woodstock area have been selling in the $100,000 to $300,000 range. Housing priced for the top of the market is moving slowly, Bellairs said, although two houses in 60098 sold for $1 million or more from January through June, a change from recent years.

Jolene White, a broker at Remax Plaza, 112 N. Benton St., is the builder-realtor liaison for single-family homes at Apple Creek Estates, a development on the south side of Woodstock being built by CalAtlantic Homes. She’s noticed an uptick in new home sales in the neighborhood, which is located off Dean Street south of Highway 14.

“Everything is moving in the right direction,” White said. “… Marriage and children are driving new construction.”

Apple Creek Estates was intended to be a sprawling neighborhood of more than 1,000 residences when Kirk Homes, the neighborhood’s original developer, broke ground in 2007. But when Kirk went bankrupt in 2009, a result of the collapse of the housing market, construction ground to a halt. CalAtlantic took over the development and has since resumed building new houses.

“Within a year, we have contracts on these homes and have sold out a third of the phase one community,” White said.

Both realtors said most buyers tend to come from the greater McHenry County area. As for sellers, White said she’s seeing an exodus of Baby Boomers who are leaving the state because of concerns over taxes, the state’s fiscal situation or its weather. Bellairs said he’s noticed “a bit of that,” too.

The Chicagoland area has lost residents in recent years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, although a special census in 2016 showed Woodstock’s population had grown.

“A lot of the empty-nesters, those individuals are relocating out of the state,” White said. “Every seller I’ve had that meets that demographic has not sold their home to relocate within Illinois.”

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