The North Shore-Barrington Association of Realtors has reported a year-over-year increase in the number of homes sold across the Barrington area in January, but the median sale price dropped when compared to January of 2013.
According to the association, 32 detached single-family homes sold in Barrington during the month, up from 29 sold in January of 2013. The median sale price was $500,750, down from $570,000 the previous January.
The number of homes sold represents a 10.3 percent increase and the price decrease totals 8.8 percent.
“Primarily, it’s due to affordability and pent-up buyer demand,” said Jim Votanek, president of the association. “Sellers need to lower their prices to attract buyers.”
Votanek said there also has been a significant influx of bank-owned properties, foreclosures and short sales, all of which are sold at below market value.
“Typically, that brings buyers into the marketplace,” he said, noting that January is typically a slower time of year for the real estate market.
Votanek explained that the prevalence of distressed properties also forces sellers to lower their prices.
The total number of homes available for sale, Votanek added, also is down significantly since January 2013, indicating that sellers may be more decisive about what they are offering.
“This year will be particularly interesting as we watch inventory levels, and ultimately the desire of sellers to get off the fence and list their homes,” he said.
Votanek expressed confidence in the Barrington area market.
“Barrington is a great community that people desire to live in and for a long time, younger people looking to start their families or move their families to Barrington were priced out of the market,” he said.
The affordability could bring more younger people to the area, he said. Votanek also pointed to desirable interest rates as a factor in the successful start to 2014.
Since the beginning of 2012, the North Shore and Barrington areas have experienced a 20 percent increase in closed sales, he added.
“That’s a really nice increase,” Votanek said.