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It took a long time, but numbers show Forest Park’s real estate seems to be rebounding in the first three quarters of 2013. Even one-bedroom condos, which had been toxic on the market for several years have made a slight increase in number of sales, and prices have increased.

“This is a better story than we’ve seen in years and years,” said Forest Park Realtor Maria Murzyn, with Gloor Properties. Murzyn works part time for the Forest Park Review.

“Overall Forest Park inventory has seen year-to-year increases in its median price,” Murzyn continued.

The number of foreclosed and short-sale properties dragging sale prices in the market down has dried up, the numbers show. More houses sold and median prices were higher for the first time.

Most single-family homes in Forest Park are classified as three-bedrooms. Median prices for three-bedroom homes increased by 18 percent in the first three quarters of 2013, from $185,000 to $218,500. Additionally, less than 25 percent of those 40 sales were foreclosed or short-sale properties. Thirty percent of the three-bedroom sales in 2012 were distressed properties. Average market time for three-bedroom houses dropped to a little more than two months from 6.7 months in 2012.

For four-bedroom homes, the median price remained basically flat, with a 3 percent increase. Significantly, more homes sold (23) up 43 percent from 2012. Also sellers of four-bedroom houses got more money on the high end, with the highest price sale being $530,000, up $55,000 or 11 percent. Slightly more distressed bigger homes sold in 2013, but average market time shrank from 137 days to less than two months.

Two-bedroom condominiums showed a nine percent median price increase, year to year. The number of sales increased modestly from 33 to 38, but the percentage of distressed properties in those sales fell from 64 percent of all two-bedroom condo sales in 2012 to 37 percent in 2013. Market time also dropped by 20 percent from 101 to 81 days.

But the big change in Forest Park real estate trends is the market for one-bedroom condos. This category of housing stock finally showed renewed vigor after lagging behind the rest of Forest Park real estate’s comeback for many years. The median price of a one-bedroom condo increased by $4,000 or 11 percent. The number of sales remained flat, year over year, but only 13 of the 29 units sold (45 percent) were distressed properties. In the first three quarters of 2012, 61 percent of sold inventory was foreclosed or short-sale. High-end one-bedrooms sold for $200,000 in 2013, up from $125,000 in 2012. Of all the housing categories, one-bedrooms took longer to sell in 2013, averaging a market time of 130 days up from 65 days in 2012. But that means many of the worst properties were snapped up by investors last year, Murzyn said.

“The inventory for short sales and foreclosures is drying up and the market is finally getting healthy again,” she said.

“As these kinds of properties are closed, it cleans up the market for future activity,” Murzyn added.

Jean Lotus

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...

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