Home prices in the Chicagoland area have fallen drastically over the last few years, but somehow Oak Park and River Forest have managed to keep prices up, falling only .27 percent while neighboring suburbs have fallen almost 30 percent.
According to the April issue of Chicago Magazine, Bellwood is down 19.71 percent, Cicero down 20.34 percent and North Riverside down 22.72 percent.
Alan Rossell, broker and licensed appraiser of Jack Carpenter Realtors in Oak Park, attributes the thriving town to quality schools and housing stock. He also says that foreclosures bring down values in hard-hit communities significantly. They also leave vacant homes in bad condition once they are bank owned.
“Keep in mind that some of these numbers are kind of screwed up because of the amount of foreclosures,” Rossell said in an interview with OakPark.com. “Oak Park probably isn’t having them to the extent that you’re seeing in some of these other communities. Those foreclosures are driving down the prices, and that’s what’s totally wrong with all these statistics.”
Chicago Magazine reported that the median home price in Oak park last year was about $369,000, which is a 21.49 percentage drop over the last five years. Homes were on the market for about 141 days before closing during those years.
River Forest’s median home price was about $580,000 during the same time span, a 25.69 percent drop over the past five years. Homes were on the market for about 210 days.
Marion Digre, co-owner of Re/Max in Oak Park, says that she believes that things may start looking up based on the number of single-family home sales year to year went up from 293 to 299 during 2011. She foresees them rising in the future.
“Single-family home values will probably be the first thing that starts to rise again once the market stabilizes, and that’s going to lead the charge in getting people to have faith in real estate as an investment again,” she said.