July Illinois home sales up 18.4 percent from a year ago

Online Staff Report

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — According to the Illinois Association of REALTORS (IAR) latest report, statewide home sales (including single-family and condominiums) in July 2011 totaled 9,708 homes sold, up 18.4 percent from 8,197 home sales in July 2010. The statewide median price in July was $153,000, down 3.8 percent from $159,000 in July 2010. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

The market, like the economy, continues to struggle even though interest rates and prices would appear to suggest favorable conditions for housing purchases,” said Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois. “It would seem that until the economy signals a clear rebound — with sustained employment growth of the order of 200,000 jobs added per month — can we expect to see a sustained uptick in housing sales and some modest recovery in prices. Since April, the unemployment rate has not shown any definitive movement.”

Hewings added, “The forecast over the next three months indicates good news for the total number of sales, which will be positive year-over-year in August, September and October for Illinois and the Chicagoland region.”

In the nine-county Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) totaled 6,625 homes sold, up 19.2 percent from July 2010 sales of 5,560 homes. The median price in July 2011 was $182,500 in the Chicagoland PMSA, down 5.4 percent compared to last year in July when it was $193,000.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 4.59 percent in July 2011, up from 4.53 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Last year in July, it averaged 4.58 percent.

Illinois home sales saw a strong jump this month and the first year-over-year gain since June of 2010, when sales were still under the influence of the homebuyer tax credit stimulus,” said REALTOR Sheryl Grider Whitehurst, ABR, CRB, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS and a managing broker for Traders Realty in Peoria. “Mortgage interest rates remain at near-record lows, and affordability conditions are still strong for qualified and motivated buyers who are out there studying their options. However, the current level of economic uncertainty and tight credit are taking a toll on buyer confidence.”

More than 60 percent of Illinois counties reporting (63 of 100) showed year-over-year sales increases in July 2011, including the following: Champaign, up 43.4 percent to 195 sales; Cook, up 9.5 percent to 3,598 sales; DuPage, up 41.6 percent to 813 sales; Kane, up 25.5 percent to 502 sales; Lake, up 35.7 percent to 643 sales; Peoria, up 30.8 percent to 187 sales; Rock Island, up 44.0 percent to 108 sales; Sangamon, up 30.9 percent to 212 sales; Will, up 22.1 percent to 535 sales; and Winnebago, up 14.4 percent to 286 sales.

In the city of Chicago, July home sales (single-family and condominiums) totaled 1,655, up 4.2 percent from 1,588 homes sold in July 2010. The city of Chicago median home sale price for single-family and condominiums in July 2011 was $210,000, up 6.9 percent compared to July 2010 when it was $196,500.

Mabel Guzman, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS and a REALTOR with Envision Real Estate LLC, Chicago, said: “This is the first month, year-over-year, where we are without a federal tax credit and are encouraged by July’s sales, hopefully a positive outlook for the remainder of 2011. There is an ongoing absorption of units throughout the city, specifically in the performance of the condo market over 2010, as well as compared to 2009. We will continue to monitor inventory, FHA changes to loan limits and accessible and affordable mortgages for qualified buyers.”

Sales and price information is generated from a survey of Multiple Listing Service sales reported by 33 participating Illinois REALTOR local boards and associations, including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of Aug. 7 reported for the period July 1-31, 2011. The Chicagoland PMSA, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.

The Illinois Association of REALTORS is a voluntary trade association whose 44,000 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. In addition to serving the professional needs of its members, the Illinois Association of REALTORS works to protect the rights of private property owners in the state by recommending and promoting legislation that safeguards and advances the interest of real property ownership.

Find Illinois housing stats data and the University of Illinois REAL forecast at www.illinoisrealtor.org/marketstats.

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