After years of disturbingly drastic declines in home prices, the Winnebago County housing market had its 10th straight quarter of year-over-year price gains in October, November and December.
And the percentage prices rose in 2016 was the best in decades.
According to Illinois Association of Realtors data, 952 homes sold in Winnebago County in the final quarter of 2016 at a median price of $104,500. That was 22.9 percent higher than the median price of $85,000 in the fourth quarter of 2015.
The final three months of 2016 marked the third straight quarter that median prices in Winnebago County were above $100,000. It hadn’t topped $100,000 since the fourth quarter of 2010 and in the first quarter of 2014 had fallen as low as $65,000.
For the year, in Winnebago County prices were up 21.6 percent in the first quarter, 18.1 percent in the second and 12.1 percent in the third.
The number of sales continues to climb as well. In 2016, 4,018 homes sold in Winnebago County. It was the first time recorded sales topped 4,000 since 2008.
Of course, the real estate market remains a long ways off from its pre-Great Recession peaks of a median price of $129,700 in the fourth quarter of 2006 and 7,032 home sales for all of 2006. But for the first time in a while, you can start to believe that eventually home prices will make a full recovery.