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September home sales up 13.5 percent in Illinois, but prices down
Online Staff Report
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — According to the Illinois Association of REALTORS’ (IAR) latest report, statewide home sales (including single-family and condominiums) in September 2011 totaled 9,182 homes sold, up 13.5 percent from 8,088 home sales in September 2010.
The statewide median price in September was $136,850, down 5.6 percent from $145,000 in September 2010. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.
Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois, explained: “The housing market is showing some positive signs in terms of sales volume, yet sale prices remain lower and more sales are expected in the category of homes priced less than $100,000. For Illinois, the forecast indicates that total home sales will be positive for October and November on a month-to-month and year-over-year basis, a rather unexpected outcome for the last quarter of the year when the market typically cools down.”
Adds Hewings: “Recent revisions to job numbers suggest the employment growth, while still below what is necessary to meet a growing labor force, has been continuing, however the perception by consumers is that the prospects for recovery are uncertain.”
In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in September 2011 totaled 6,035 homes sold, up 13.3 percent from September 2010 sales of 5,326 homes. The median price in September 2011 was $160,000 in the Chicago PMSA, down 8.6 percent compared to last year in September when it was $175,000.
The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 4.09 percent in September 2011, down from 4.26 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Last year in September, it averaged 4.34 percent.
REALTOR Loretta Alonzo, CRB, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS and broker-owner of Century 21 Alonzo & Associates in LaGrange Park, said: “Home sales are up significantly from last year, and that’s a welcome signal for the Illinois housing market; still, we would expect to see even more people taking advantage of these excellent affordability conditions with low mortgage interest rates. The slow economy and job recovery are severe drags on the market, plus many able buyers are hitting roadblocks on financing a home purchase due to the overcorrection in mortgage underwriting requirements. The fact that FHA home loan limits lowered on Oct. 1 for Chicago-area counties and several downstate counties is another blow for would-be buyers.”
Alonzo added: “Illinois REALTORS join the national REALTOR organization, as well as other housing industry groups and economists, to urge action on reforms to housing financing as well as mortgage refinance programs for homeowners facing foreclosure.”
Sixty-three percent of Illinois counties reporting (63 of 100) showed year-over-year sales increases in September 2011. Forty-five percent (45 of 100) showed year-over-year median price increases, including Champaign, up 1.7 percent to $150,000; Jo Daviess, up 5 percent to $157,500; Knox, up 20.5 percent to $94,000; McLean, up 0.9 percent to $154,000; Peoria, up 20.8 percent to $122,000; Rock Island, up 5.1 percent to $95,875; St. Clair, up 10.0 percent to $126,450; and Vermilion, up 10.2 percent to $55,000.
In the city of Chicago, September 2011 home sales (single-family and condominiums) totaled 1,498, up 6.8 percent from 1,403 homes sold in September 2010. The city of Chicago median home sale price for September 2011 was $190,000, up 5.6 percent compared to September 2010 when it was $180,000.
REALTOR Bob Floss, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS and broker-owner of Bob Floss and Son Realty, said: “September home sales in the city of Chicago show signs of stabilization, with an increase in the units sold for both single-family and condominiums. While interest rates remain historically low and prices compelling, we remain concerned of the overall economic stability of our marketplace with unemployment numbers and job creation still top of mind for so many buyers and homeowners alike.”
Sales and price information is generated from a survey of Multiple Listing Service sales reported by 31 participating Illinois REALTOR local boards and associations, including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of Oct. 7, reported for the period Sept. 1-30. The Chicago 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.