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Forest Park single family homes are still a bargain, but the market may be rising, based on recent statistics.

Look at three-bedroom homes in the first half of 2012. Twenty-one sold, compared to 15 in the same period in 2011. The increase is very good, but the median sales price is down almost 3 percent. Those are the straight statistics, but we need to take a closer look. Why? Because of the 21 that sold, five sold for between $36,000 and $60,000, and four of those were foreclosures. These very low sales prices drag the market. If we eliminate the lowball prices and only compare year-to-year with closed prices of $100,000 or more, the picture is better for Forest Park. So much so that it appears the market for three-bedrooms is up almost 6 percent. Today there are 30 with list prices ranging from $72,900 to $499,999. Five short sales are included from $95,000 to $258,747.

On the other hand, the story for four or more bedroom homes is tough – unless we dig deeper. For the first six months of 2012, we see nine closed versus eight in the first half of 2011, basically flat. The poke in the eye is that the median sales price is down 47 percent. Yes, that’s the statistical figure. Again, we run into a comparison problem because of the same situation as above. Three of the nine homes sold for between $60,501 and $82,000. If we again remove them and only compare homes which sold for $100,000+ in our mix, indications are that, though down in our year-to-year comparison, the decrease is 5 percent.Currently, there are 17 actives ranging from $60,000 to $599,900, which includes one short sale for $60,000.

The data in this column is gleaned from the MRED (Midwest Real Estate Data), formerly known as the MLS (Multiple Listing Service).

Maria Murzyn works part-time for Wednesday Journal and is also a Realtor for Better Homes & Gardens Gloor Realty Company.