Real Estate News: Illinois home sales continue gains in October, up 15.3 percent

November 23, 2011

Staff Report

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — According to the Illinois Association of Realtors’ (IAR) latest report, statewide home sales (including single-family and condominiums) in October 2011 totaled 8,536 homes sold, up 15.3 percent from 7,402 home sales in October 2010.

The statewide median price in October was $130,000, down 10.3 percent from $145,000 in October 2010. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

Foreclosure and short sale inventories are working through the market, and buyers in the market are favoring lower-priced homes with close to 70 percent of homes sold in October priced below $200,000 statewide,” said Realtor Loretta Alonzo, CRB, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors and broker-owner of Century 21 Alonzo & Associates in La Grange Park. “The best prescription for the housing market is a robust economy that creates jobs and improves consumer confidence combined with removing over-reaching barriers to home financing that turn away some qualified buyers who want to make a move at this opportune time.”

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 4.07 percent in October 2011, down from 4.09 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Last year in October, it averaged 4.21 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in October 2011 totaled 5,778 homes sold, up 23.7 percent from October 2010 sales of 4,670 homes. The median price in October 2011 was $149,900 in the Chicago PMSA, down 15.3 percent compared to last year in October, when it was $177,000.

Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois, said: “The continued expectation of some gains in housing sales after several months of positive activity suggest that some buyers are seeing value in the market, especially in properties priced below $200,000. The economy continues to be a drag on the housing market recovery with U.S. recovery affected by the turmoil in Europe.

As we look to the Illinois economy, there is some good news,” Hewings added. “For example, the last 12 months we have matched U.S. job growth, and we haven’t done that for some time. In fact, since 1980, Illinois has only outperformed the nation three times, and all that was before 1990. Also, our Midwest neighbors are recovering faster than the U.S., and 40 percent of Illinois exports go there, so if they are creating jobs, it will create more demand for Illinois products.”

Forty-seven percent of Illinois counties reporting (47 of 100) showed year-over-year home sales increases in October 2011. Forty-six percent (46 of 100) showed year-over-year median price increases including Boone, up 18.2 percent to $130,000; Coles, up 40.3 percent to $91,200; Iroquois, up 7.1 percent to $75,000; Macon, up 9 percent to $84,500; Ogle, up 9.8 percent to $101,000; Whiteside, up 8.9 percent to $86,500; and Woodford, up 18.8 percent to $164,000.

In the city of Chicago, October 2011 home sales (single-family and condominiums) totaled 1,312, up 7.9 percent from 1,216 homes sold in October 2010. The city of Chicago median home sale price for October 2011 was $162,000, down 11.5 percent compared to October 2010, when it was $183,000.

Realtor Bob Floss, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors and broker-owner of Bob Floss and Son Realty, said: “The increase in units sold in the city of Chicago continues to show the absorption of distressed properties in the market. Prospective buyers in the market are making investments that make sense long-term. Those who haven’t considered buying are encouraged to work with a Realtor to assess their individual buying power in today’s market and plan how they may make a purchase given historically low interest rates and their own financial ability.”

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 Nov. 7, 2011, reported for the period Oct. 1-31. 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.

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

From the Nov. 23-29, 2011, issue

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