People are still buying houses during the pandemic. But what happens when the demand is greater than the supply? You get a seller’s market. This June marked the biggest year-over-year housing inventory drop in Rockford’s history.
Conor Brown is the CEO of Rockford Area Realtors. He said there were a number of factors contributing to this housing shortage. COVID-19 was one of them.
“That just added fuel to the fire as people, particularly in older demographics, who might be more susceptible to the effects of COVID-19, were hesitant to list their homes," he said. "And so, in many of those circumstances, those are the folks that are looking to downsize.”
Brown said, normally, someone looking to move up could buy one of these homes. Then a first-time buyer could purchase that other buyer’s current house. He said this isn’t happening with the older population staying put.
Brown said last month, some homes sold in a matter of three days. He said although the market is tight, the low interest rates are opening up a wider pool of available homes for buyers. Brown is also reminding homebuyers to get preapproval.
"They're now going to be able to take that loan amount to their realtor and say, OK, here's what I can buy," he said.
According to a Rockford Area Realtors press release, last year’s June inventory was 1,035. This year, the number was 665. The average June price for a home in the Rockford area was $146,901 this year, up from last June’s average of $141,577.
- Yvonne Boose is a 2020 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. It's a national service program that places talented journalists in local newsrooms like WNIJ. You can learn more about Report for America at wnij.org.