Metro-east's first-half home sales strongest in five years

News-DemocratJuly 25, 2013 

The latest sign of a rebounding housing market is that the number of metro-east home sales recorded during the first six months of this year is higher than recent years.

New numbers released by the Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois in Belleville reveal that 1,234 homes were sold in St. Clair County during the first six months of the year -- higher than the sales recorded during that span for every year since 2009.

The Greater Gateway Association of Realtors in Glen Carbon recorded 1,469 first-half sales, also its highest sales total for the first half in five years. The 288 sales reported last month in Madison County is the highest total recorded in June in as many years.

Al Suguitan, Greater Gateway's president and chief operating officer, said not every region of the state is witnessing the recent success that the metro-east real estate market has.

"I would certainly say for our market area we're going in the right direction," Suguitan said. "Everything is looking strong and positive."

The 258 transactions completed during June in St. Clair County also were the highest recorded for the month over the last five years. Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois President Connie Stellhorn said a recent report says demand is strong among younger consumers. According the 2013 National Association of Realtors Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, 85 percent of younger home buyers consider their home purchase to be a good financial investment.

"The millennial generation is the largest in history since the baby boomers, and is approaching the age when people typically purchase their first home," Stellhorn said. "This should give a powerful boost to the demand for housing."

Statewide, home sales increased 14.9 percent over previous-year levels in June. The 15,268 homes sold in June was up from the 13,286 sales recorded in June 2012. The Illinois Association of Realtors reported that this marked the 24th consecutive month of year-over-year sales increases throughout the state.

The National Association of Realtors reported a little more than 5 million home sales last month, more than the 4.4 million sold in June 2012.

Contact reporter Will Buss at wbuss@bnd.com or 618-239-2526.

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