A large majority of Illinois’ homeowners are living in homes still not worth their pre-recession values, according to an article in the Illinois News Network — an independent project of the Illinois Policy Institute. A number of real estate agents blame high property taxes.
Lake County realtor Lynn Fairfield (bestlakecountyhomes.com) says she hears about home values going up and the national housing market making a recovery. Yet, she still has four homes she’s selling for less than their mortgage is worth. She says buyers can’t afford asking prices coupled with her area’s skyrocketing property taxes.
“I have one house listed at $169,900 with a tax bill of $9,200,” she said. “Their tax payment is bigger than their house payment.”
Trulia chief economist Ralph McLaughlin says many zip codes in Illinois have seen only a handful of homes recover their value since the recession hit in 2007. He says Lake County is one of the worst areas in the nation.
“They still have another 20-21 percent before most homes would get close [to pre-recession values],” he said.
Less than 3 percent of homes in the Lake County area have recovered to their pre-recession values. The median home value was $215,616. It was $260,850 shortly before the crash.
Kankakee-area realtor Amanda Armer-Irps says the property taxes there are pushing people out of state.
“Your taxes are more than your house payment in Kankakee. You get used to it in Illinois that part of being a homeowner is paying those real estate taxes.”
— Amanda Armer-Irps
Both realtors said that they’re still selling more homes than in years past, which might indicate that the recession is over, but sellers in their respective areas are taking heavy losses in comparison to what they have paid and invested into their homes. Armor-Irps was on her way to a short-sale in which the seller was cutting a $20,000 check to sell her home. She said the resident was moving out of state.
Some areas of Illinois have homes that are mostly recovered from the recession. The Springfield area, where many public workers live, has at least 80 percent of homes back to previous values.
For more Illinois News Network content, visit ILNews.org.”
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