This four-bedroom, 1.5-bath home at 520 N. Prospect St. is listed for sale on Saturday, March 2, 2024, in Rockford. (Photo by Kevin Haas/Rock River Current)
By Kevin Haas
Rock River Current
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ROCKFORD — The region’s first home sale data of the year shows prices are still rising and more homes were sold than this time a year ago. It also shows the inventory of homes for sale remains low.

The January data marks the first time in two years that monthly sales have increased for two months in a row, according to the NorthWest Illinois Alliance of Realtors.

The total number of homes sales rose nearly 8% from 196 in January 2023 to 211 this January. In December, sales rose nearly 3% to 305 from 297 the same month a year earlier.

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The three-month-rolling average price of homes sold in Boone, Winnebago and Ogle counties was $197,355 in January, which is an all-time high for that month. That price is up nearly 14% from January 2023, an increase of more than $24,000.


Meanwhile, the inventory of homes for sale remains low as many homeowners hold on to their low mortgage rates unless they must sell, the Realtors group said.

Mortgage rates are more than double what they were two years ago, according to data from Freddie Mac. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage as of last week was 6.94% compared to 3.22% at the start of 2022. It was 6.48% at the start of 2023.

“Most mortgage holders now have interest rates of 5% or lower. Unless they have to sell, many are deciding to stay in their current home, even though they have a desire to move,” said Conor Brown, CEO of the NorthWest Illinois Alliance of Realtors. “A major question driving future home sales: When will be the point where we will see those with super low mortgage rates decide to move?”

The inventory of homes for sale across the three-county area was 251 at the end of January, down more than 14% from 293 homes last January.

“What we expect is that as we get through inflation and other economic challenges, we’ll see mortgage rates slowly come down,” Brown said.

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The number of new home listings in January was 189, the lowest level ever, according to the Realtors group. Listings dropped more than 18% from 232 in January 2023.

“Right now, both buyers and sellers still have opportunities to capitalize on the low number of homes for sale,” Brown said. “Sellers currently have less competition with  inventory still being at a low level, helping drive up their asking price. And buyers can take advantage of a less frenzied market during the colder earlier part of the year.”  

This article is by Kevin Haas. Email him at or follow him on X at @KevinMHaas or Instagram @thekevinhaas and Threads @thekevinhaas

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