House sales are up in Lake Zurich in 2012
Residential properties sales in Lake Zurich and Barrington are up compared to this time last year, reflecting a countywide trend in the housing market. Coldwell Banker real estate agent Suzanne Luby shows a Barrington home. | Joe Cyganowski~For Sun-Times
Updated: December 23, 2012 6:23AM
LAKE ZURICH — Residential property sales in Lake Zurich are up compared to this time last year, reflective of a county-wide trend in the housing market.
“I definitely feel like the village on a whole is doing better than it was,” said realtor Cherie Smith Zurek of RE/MAX Unlimited Northwest.
“There are more sales right now because the sale prices of homes are at the all-time lowest,” she said.
Lake County recorded a 41 percent increase in transactions this past October compared to year-earlier data, according to a RE/MAX Northern Illinois analysis of transaction data compiled by Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC, the regional multiple-listing service.
The county’s residential real estate market did not change, however, in average sales price or average market time. In both 2011 and 2012, the median sale price for Lake County homes remained at $150,000 after being on the market for an average of 154 days.
In neighboring Cook County, the median sale price increased from last year by 4 percent to $149,900, and the average market time fell by 30 days to 136 days.
While property sales in Lake Zurich have also been on the rise, prices generally aren’t moving upward.
Last month, the village recorded 25 sold units, double the amount of sales in October 2011, according to data provided by Smith Zurek.
Through Oct. 31, 181 detached-home sales were recorded in Lake Zurich, representing a 30 percent rise over the year prior.
The length of time it takes to sell a Lake Zurich property is on par with the county, as the average market time of a detached home dropped by 31 days in 2012 to 137.
The median price of a detached home sold between January and October of this year was $255,000. During the same period in 2011, the median was $260,000.
“Property values are at that point where investors can buy something half off what it was worth,” Smith Zurek said.
As residential real estate prices and sales began to decline in 2008, opportunities to invest in homes to rent have skyrocketed. The recent uptick in property transfers is partially due a growing number of investors.
A national tracking survey of housing conducted Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance found that investors accounted for 22 percent of all home sales by July 2012.
Smith Zurek said families who could no longer afford to own a home in Lake Zurich are turning to renting locally in order to keep their children in the public school system.
“There are more renters but not enough rental properties,” she said. “People like to live there.”
The local housing market may not be performing its strongest but has remained stable because of the area’s appeal.
“Even in the bad times (the market) is still somewhat good because of the community,” Smith Zurek said.