Metro-East News

Business briefing: So far, local home sales improved over last year

This year is looking better than last year for the metro-east housing market.

Home sales in St. Clair and Madison counties are higher than they were at this point last year. The latest numbers from the Realtor Association of Southwestern Illinois in Belleville and the Greater Gateway Association of Realtors in Glen Carbon reveal sales gains through the first seven months of the year over 2014.

In St. Clair County, 2,108 homes were sold between Jan. 1 and July 31, compared with the 1,918 sold in the county during that same span the year before.

In Madison County, 1,799 homes have sold so far this year through July 31, while only 1,553 transaction were recorded in that time last year.

The Greater Gateway Association of Realtors has released its August sales numbers, which are also better than August 2014. A total of 353 homes were sold in the county last month, more than the 318 sales reported in August 2014.

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Belleville Ward 7 Alderman Phil Elmore is doing his part to promote real estate and the neighborhoods he represents on the east end. Elmore is hosting the East End Open House Showcase on Sunday to promote homes for sale in East Belleville. Ten homes with three to four bedrooms listed between $79,900 to $164,900 will be open and on display from 1-3 p.m.

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The number of unemployment benefits remains near historic lows. The Labor Department has reported that weekly applications have dropped by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 275,000. Benefit applications had risen by 11,000 the week before to 281,000. However, unemployment applications have remained below the 300,000 mark for the past six months, a streak that has not been seen in 42 years. Find out more here.

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