West suburban housing market heating up
Updated: June 11, 2012 8:10AM
Are bidding wars making a return in the housing market?
There has been a noticeable increase over the past six months in the number of multiple offers being made to purchase and rent homes in the Hinsdale area, said Mark Rediehs, a broker associate for Coldwell Banker in Clarendon Hills.
“There’s a lot less supply right now and a lot of interest,” said Rediehs, who has been in the real estate business in the area for 27 years. “People are starting to trust the economy, and interest rates are very low. There’s a low inventory now — Hinsdale has a little more inventory than Clarendon Hills does, but it’s still relatively low.”
Rediehs said many people taking their homes off the market during a slow sales period over the past few years is a key factor in the low inventory of available homes for sale.
“It used to be pretty typical for a while to have multiple bids on houses, but that really hasn’t been the case since 2006,” Rediehs said. “We are seeing that again on some level now, but I don’t think this means we’re back into a huge appreciation mode.”
Rediehs said the residential rental market is very strong now in Hinsdale and Clarendon Hills.
While the market for both the sale and rental of homes has improved considerably over the past six months, that has not been the case for one specific area of residential sales, Rediehs said.
“The condo market is terrible,” he said. “There are more first-time buyers interested in purchasing condos, and it’s harder to get loans for first-time home buyers.”
The La Grange market also is showing signs of improvement, said Joan Smothers, owner of Smothers Realty Group.
“The signs are excellent. People are buying,” Smothers said following the sale of three properties, each over $900,000, in one weekend. “People are not as afraid.”
Smothers also noted a couple of homes which each had four bidders and sold in the last month.
“Slowly, over the next year to two to three, we’ll see a strengthening of the market and prices starting to inch their way up,” she said. “However, there will be more foreclosures and short sales to come.”
Paul Stepanovich, owner of Remax County Line in Burr Ridge, expressed caution about market improvements.
“The lower-end properties are selling a lot faster. We’re definitely seeing a lot more in that realm,” Stepanovich said. “I’ve seen multiple offers in Darien, for example. It comes down to what is going on in the actual market place.”
But more foreclosures, particularly on more expensive homes, are likely to come on the market after processing delays.
“To me the bottom line is until we create jobs, you can’t do anything,” he said. “Until there’s a better job market, we’re going to continue to see foreclosures.”
Stepanovich said the market hasn’t quite bottomed out yet, but when it does, the turnaround will be swift.
“When it hits a really low spot, then there’s a big jump when everybody see the opportunity to get a piece of the pie,” he said. “That creates demand, and it goes back up.”