Despite hopes that the local real estate market would begin to recover three years after it began to crash, the bottom still hasn’t been reached, according to the latest sales figures for Riverside, Brookfield and North Riverside.
Through August, the median sale price for a detached, single-family home in all three villages continued to decline, and veteran professionals in the area – despite a stronger showing in July and August – are not optimistic.
“We were really hoping for Labor Day to Thanksgiving [being a good selling season],” said Joan Wiaduck, a real estate agent at Gaslight Realty in Riverside. “But buyers have dried up. I think they’re out there, but they’re being real extra cautious.”
If not for July and August, however, the numbers would have been worse. As it is, through Aug. 31, the median home sale price in Riverside plummeted to $307,000 – down 20.5 percent since Dec. 31, 2010, according to Midwest Real Estate Data LLC, when the median sale price was $386,250.
By Aug. 31, the median sale price in Riverside for a single-family, detached home has fallen 39 percent from its high of $503,500 at the end of 2007.
“From my perspective, there were sales a month ago and it’s dead in the water, and it shouldn’t be,” said Karen Skiba, a Brookfield resident who is a real estate broker and the owner of Landmark Realty in Riverside. “There are no showings. There was a big push a month ago and, now, nothing. And I don’t think it’s going to pick up.”
Skiba is concerned enough about the future of the local real estate market that she’s started a sideline business, marketing rental property in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, through a company called Viva Vallarta Rentals.
“I’m very excited about it,” said Skiba. “There’s business down there; they’re doing really good.”
The median home sale price in North Riverside through Aug. 31 has fallen even further. Since the village’s high-water mark in 2006, when the median sale price was $287,000, that number has fallen 41.6 percent. As of Aug. 31, the median sale price of a home in North Riverside was $167,500.
And numbers show the pace of that decline has accelerated during the past two years. After the median sales price in North Riverside fell 10 percent from 2007 to 2008, prices stabilized somewhat in 2009, when the median sales price declined just 5 percent.
But in 2010, it fell another 6 percent. And as of Aug. 31, 2011 the median sales price of a home in North Riverside had dropped another 21.5 percent since the end of 2010.
Brookfield has also seen the decline in its median home sale price accelerate during the first eight months of 2011. After experiencing single-digit declines each year since 2007, Brookfield’s median has fallen 15.8 percent since Dec. 31, 2010.
Overall, the median Brookfield home sales price of $167,500 as of Aug. 31, 2011 is 36 percent lower than the village’s high-water mark of $275,000 at the end of 2006.
As the real estate market crashed, the pace of foreclosures increased. Between 2006 and 2010, the numbers of properties sold in foreclosure skyrocketed. According to Blockshopper.com, which tracks transactions of foreclosed properties, Brookfield, Riverside and North Riverside each recorded two completed foreclosures in 2006.
In 2009, Riverside recorded 14 foreclosures, while Brookfield had 24 and North Riverside had eight.
In 2010, foreclosure transactions leveled off in Riverside and North Riverside with just 13 and six respectively. Brookfield foreclosures continued to climb, however, with 35 recorded as completed in 2010.
Through August 2011, Riverside has recorded 11 foreclosures and Brookfield 22, while North Riverside had already seen a record nine foreclosure transactions through Aug. 31.
But those numbers reflect only the number of homes in foreclosure where ownership has reverted to the lender. The number of properties with any type of foreclosure filing against them is even higher.
The Woodstock Institute, which tracks foreclosure trends in the Chicago area, reported that Brookfield foreclosure filings increased by 500 percent between 2005 and 2010. In 2005, there were 24 foreclosure filings in Brookfield compared to 145 in 2010.
And last week, the Woodstock Institute reported that foreclosure filings in Brookfield were up year-over-year through the first six months of 2011. Through June 30, Brookfield has had 69 foreclosure filings compared to 62 through the same period in 2010.
The institute did not release foreclosure filing information for Riverside or North Riverside.
Generally, the number of foreclosure auctions has fallen in 2011, the Woodstock Institute reported. But the reason for that isn’t because there are fewer filings, but that it is taking longer for those filings to be processed through the courts, especially in Cook County, where the median time it takes to process a foreclosure through the second quarter of 2011 was 363 days.
“With fewer foreclosure auctions completing each quarter despite a growing inventory of in-process foreclosures, the data indicate that existing foreclosure cases will take longer to cycle through the process, potentially delaying the stabilization of the housing market,” said the Woodstock Institute’s latest report, published in September.