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Illinois home sales up 19.9 percent in third quarter

November 11, 2011

Online Staff Report

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – According to the Illinois Association of REALTORS (IAR) third quarter 2011 report, Illinois home sales (which include single-family homes and condominiums) totaled 29,644 in the third quarter, up 19.9 percent from 24,719 home sales in the same period a year ago.

The third quarter statewide median home sale price was $145,500, down 4.9 percent from $153,000 in the third quarter of 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, said: “While median prices continue to trend downwards, there is some indication of increased demand as inventory levels in certain price ranges have been shrinking. In the third quarter, 64.1 percent of homes were sold in the price range under $200,000.

On the jobs front, the three-month moving average of jobs was up by 5,400 jobs per month for the state of Illinois through September,” Hewings added. “Uncertainty remains about the economy, and if we had six or nine months of robust growth, something in the order of 150,000 to 250,000 jobs nationally, then we would see some real uptick in the housing market.”

In the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), total home sales (single-family and condominiums) were up 20.2 percent in the third quarter of 2011 to 19,847 homes sold, compared to 16,518 home sales in the same period a year ago. The nine-county region’s third-quarter 2011 median price was $174,500, down 7.5 percent from $188,666 in the third quarter of 2010.

The third quarter 2011 interest rate for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.31 percent in the North Central Region, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. It was down from 4.69 percent in the second quarter of 2011 and down from 4.45 percent a year ago in the third quarter of 2010.

REALTOR Loretta Alonzo, CRB, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS and broker-owner of Century 21 Alonzo & Associates in La Grange Park, said: “Sales growth in the third quarter is due in part to significant pent-up demand from homebuyers waiting on the sidelines of this economy’s slow recovery. Given the historically low mortgage interest rates, it’s a good time to do a comparable analysis for those looking to get away from rising rents with these affordability conditions.

We are still looking for stronger economic signals and more jobs to restore consumer confidence, all key factors for the housing market,” Alonzo added.

Seventy of 98 Illinois counties reporting showed year-over-year home sales increases in the third quarter of 2011. Forty-five of 98 counties reported median price increases, including Adams, up 7.4 percent to $112,750; Macon, up 8.2 percent to $94,900; McLean, up 3.2 percent to $160,000; Peoria, up 8.3 percent to $124,500; Tazewell, up 8.9 percent to $135,000; Vermilion, up 12.1 percent to $60,000; and Whiteside, up 3.3 percent to $82,500.

In the city of Chicago, total home sales (single-family and condominiums) in the third quarter were up 10.3 percent to 4,940 sales, compared to 4,477 sales in the third quarter of 2010. The city of Chicago median price in the third quarter was $198,000, up 2.6 percent from $193,000 in the same period for 2010.

REALTOR Bob Floss, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS and broker-owner of Bob Floss and Son Realty, said: “First-time homebuyers are finding great homes to make their first purchase, while other buyers are finding tremendous opportunities to become investors. Chicago real estate remains stable considering national economic conditions, and still a marketplace where residents or investors can make their dreams of homeownership a reality.”

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 July 1-Sept. 30. 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.

Detailed third-quarter 2011 Illinois home sales data can be accessed at the IAR website, www.illinoisrealtor.org/marketstats.

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