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February home sales in Illinois up 16.2 percent from a year ago

March 21, 2013

Online Staff Report

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois home sales increased 16.2 percent over previous-year levels in February and median prices increased 5.1 percent, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR).

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in February 2013 totaled 8,213 homes sold, up from 7,067 in February 2012. Statewide sales have posted monthly gains since July 2011.

The statewide median price in February was $125,000, up 5.1 percent from February2012, when the median price was $118,920. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

The first two months of the year are typically slower in the real estate business, but so far, we’ve seen an encouraging number of sales,” said Michael D. Oldenettel, CRS, GRI, president of the IAR and managing broker/owner with RE/MAX Results Plus in Jacksonville, Ill. “The February sales numbers show that we have a good rolling start into a portion of the year where traditionally we see more people list homes.”

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 3.49 percent in February 2013, up from 3.40 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Last February, it averaged 3.91 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in February 2013 totaled 5,935 homes sold, up 20.2 percent from February 2012 sales of 4,936 homes.

The median price in February 2013 was $140,000 in the Chicago PMSA, up 3.7 percent from $135,000 in February 2012.

The bumpy recovery of the housing market continues,” noted Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the University of Illinois. “Sales continue to experience year-over-year gains, and the number of foreclosed property sales continues to exceed new additions to this part of the economy.

Forty-seven of 102 Illinois countiesreporting to IAR showed year-over-year home sales increases in February 2013. Forty-three counties showed year-over-year median price increases, including Sangamon, up 7.7 percent to $133,500; Lake, up 7.4 percent to $152,000; Cook, up 4.7 percent to $133,000; McLean, up 5.6 percent to $151,500; and Will, up 2.6 percent to $150,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 10.2 percent year-over-year home sales increase in February 2013 with 1,378 sales, up from 1,250 in February 2012.

The condo market in the city of Chicago also showed a sales increase of 10.2 percent to 779 units sold in February 2013.

The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in February 2013 was $158,000, up 12.9 percent compared to February 2012 when it was $140,000.Chicago condo prices also saw strong gainsfor the month, posting a 21.2 percent jump to $200,000.

Our clients are hopeful about the consistently strong market indicators,” said Realtor Zeke Morris, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors and operating principal and managing broker, Keller Williams Realty, CCG. “City of Chicago home sales in the first two months of 2013 were 21.8 percent above where they were at the same time in 2012, despite the fact that sales traditionally slow in winter. The current market renewal leaves no question about Chicagoans’ continued desire for homeownership. What’s critical is that lenders more actively foster loan product for buyers across the financial spectrum.”

Sales and price information is generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 31 participating Illinois Realtor local boards and associations, including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of March 7, 2013, for the period Feb. 1-28, 2013. 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 IAR is a voluntary trade association whose 41,000 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. In addition to serving the professional needs of its members, the IAR works to protect the rights of private property owners in the state by recommending and promoting legislation to safeguard and advance the interest of real property ownership.

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

Posted March 21, 2013

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