You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Springfield home prices up, foreclosure rates down

Springfield housing market on the mend, but some still concerned about foreclosures.


Homes prices across Springfield are up and foreclosures have dropped compared to 2013, signs of a slowly strengthening housing market that took a big hit in the country’s economic downturn.

Home prices in February 2014 increased by 5.8 percent from February 2013, according to data released this week by CoreLogic, a property information, analytics and service provider.

The stability and strength of the housing market works hand in hand with the amenities and services a community can offer to homeowners, said Mike McDorman, president of the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce.

“This is what we need as we look forward to growing our community and hopefully that trend will continue into a better period of economic growth,” he said.

Between Feb. 1 and March 1, 29 houses sold in Springfield — down from the 37 sold in the same month last year. But the average sale price shot up more than $10,000 to $64,530 for that same time frame, according to data collected by the Springfield Board of Realtors.

The price increase is because home sales are bouncing back after a period of depreciation caused by the Great Recession, experts said, and listing prices of homes have climbed.

“As the spring home-buying season kicks off, house price appreciation continues to be strong,” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. “Although prices should remain strong in the near term due to a short supply of homes on the market, price increases should moderate over the next year as home equity releases pent-up supply.”

Between January 2013 and January of this year, the section of the city with the highest average home sale price was the northeast section of Springfield, with an average sale price of about $121,450, according to Springfield Board of Realtors records. The area with the lowest sale price was the southwest district of Springfield with an average sale price of about $22,040.

In the past several years the community has seen a new downtown hospital and surgical hospital, Clark State has made several improvements to its campuses and the National Trail Parks and Recreation District has built a new ice rink. All of these additions are attractive to a homebuyer and pull them into the community, McDorman said.

The number of Springfield homeowners filing for foreclosure and the mortgage delinquency rate for January have both dropped since 2013, according to CoreLogic.

The rate of mortgages foreclosed in Springfield was 2.47 percent in January 2014, compared to 3.85 percent in January 2013. Similarly, homeowners behind on their mortgage payments more than 90 days dropped 1.56 percentage points from 2013 to 6.19 percent.

Although a decline in foreclosure rates is a good sign, it still remains worse than the national average and local housing experts said the numbers don’t exactly match what they are seeing with record numbers of homeowners seeking help from their office.

“When we hear that foreclosures are going we down, we always raise an eyebrow because our experience is that we are assisting delinquent homeowners at an all-time high,” said Tina Koumoutsos, executive director of the Neighborhood Housing Partnership of Greater Springfield.

“We’re still getting calls and requests for assistance; people are still losing jobs,” said Kerri Brammer, HomeOwnership Center manager with NHP. Those going through a divorce, experiencing a death in the family and underemployment are other circumstances that affect homeowners who need financial assistance.

Counselors at NHP also question what will happen when mortgage interest rates gradually increase over time and government foreclosure assistance programs come to an end.

“We have to be careful when we make an assumption that the foreclosure problem in Springfield is over, because it’s not,” Koumoutsos said.

But the pair said they have seen an increase in home ownership because of the increased affordability of houses on the market in the Springfield area.

“We’re seeing that through people coming to home-buyer education and credit-counseling classes because there are great opportunities to buy,” Brammer said.

Assistance and classes offered by the partnership give current homeowners and future buyers help them through any step of the home-buying experience, from credit counseling to foreclosure assistance. The office encourages anyone who thinks they need help, even if they’re only having trouble paying one month of their mortgage, to not be afraid to seek help.

“This is an economic problem and not a personal failure,” Koumoutsos said. “There’s people that never thought they were going to need assistance and as time has gone on they realize they are not the only ones in this predicament.”

In-depth coverageSpringfield News-Sun reporters dig into economic issues in the Springfield area, including the housing market and home finance trends.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Days by the pool: Is it worth the cost?
Days by the pool: Is it worth the cost?

Every year as summer approaches, families think about adding pools to their backyards. Before your kids talk you into installing one, you should consider the financial implications. Better Business Bureau advises you: Do your research before installing your own pool. Ask yourself why you want a pool Consider these questions: Why do you want a pool?...
Chipotle investigating credit card data breach
Chipotle investigating credit card data breach

Chipotle Mexican Grill is investigating a data breach in its payment processing system, after reporting a sharp increase in sales. The fast-casual restaurant said it recently detected unauthorized activity on its network that supports the payment system. Chipotle said the transactions occurred between March 24 and April 18, and the company believes...
RETAIL APOCALYPSE: More than 8,600 stores could close in 2017
RETAIL APOCALYPSE: More than 8,600 stores could close in 2017

More than 8,600 stores could close in 2017, a record estimate of closures compared to recent years. A new research report from brokerage firm Credit Suisse estimated that more than 8,600 stores will close this year, up from the 2,065 that closed last year and the 5,077 store closures in 2015. Major retailers across the country have taken a hit...
WATCH: Amazon’s new shopping concept means never waiting in lines
WATCH: Amazon’s new shopping concept means never waiting in lines

Amazon is launching a new kind of brick-and-mortar store that means never having to wait in a line again. The new concept Amazon Go will give consumers “the world’s most advanced shopping technology so you never have to wait in line,” according to the online retail giant. Some industry experts are calling the concept the future of...
No more cookies: Kroger’s offering free piece of fruit for kids
No more cookies: Kroger’s offering free piece of fruit for kids

Kroger is promoting healthy living through a new initiative that gives kids free fruit to munch on while their parents do the grocery shopping. The Cincinnati-based grocery retailer piloted its “Free Fruit for Kids” program in several stores starting last year. Parents can grab a piece of fruit for their children to eat from the produce...
More Stories