Illinois housing market gains extend into fall

• Home sales up 19.8 percent, median prices rise 12.9 percent in September in Illinois

Staff Report

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Momentum in the housing market continued into September with Illinois home sales increasing 19.8 percent over previous-year levels and median prices rising 12.9 percent, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in September 2013 totaled 13,018 homes sold, up from 10,866 in September 2012. It was the strongest September in terms of sales since 2006, when 13,594 homes sold statewide.

The statewide median price in September was $157,000, up 12.9 percent from September 2012, when the median price was $139,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

September homebuyers showed they were not going to be deterred by slight interest rate increases or the possibility of a federal government shutdown,” said Phil Chiles, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR) and broker-associate with The Real Estate Group in Springfield. “The numbers reflect a strong end to the warm-weather selling season, and provide good momentum into the final quarter of the year.”

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 4.50 percent in September 2013, up from 4.44 percent in August, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In September 2012, it averaged 3.49 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in September 2013 totaled 9,583 homes sold, up 25.6 percent from September 2012 sales of 7,629 homes.

The median price in September 2013 was $185,000 in the Chicago PMSA, up 15.6 percent from $160,000 in September 2012. The time it took to sell a home dropped substantially in September with listings averaging 61 days until sale, a 26.5 percent drop compared to 83 days in September 2012.

The partial government shutdown has dampened the housing market’s continuing recovery,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois. “However, both sales and prices are forecast to continue at a much faster rate than a year ago, and continued completion rates for foreclosures promise a return to a more normal market situation within six to 12 months.”

Fifty-three of 102 Illinois counties reporting to IAR showed year-over-year home sales increases in September 2013. Forty-nine counties showed year-over-year median price increases, including Kane, up 25.9 percent to $170,000; Cook, up 19 percent to $187,450; DuPage, up 10 percent to $220,000; Rock Island, up 6.9 percent to $96,200; Macon, up 3.5 percent to $88,000; and Champaign, up 1.4 percent to $147,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 23.4 percent year-over-year home sales increase in September 2013, with 2,352 sales, up from 1,906 in September 2012.

The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in September 2013 was $231,000, up 22.6 percent compared to September 2012, when it was $188,400. Chicago condo median prices continued to see double-digit gains, posting a 18.7 percent jump to $273,000. Average time on market in the city was 50 days, down 30.6 percent compared to 72 days in September 2012.

From the Oct. 23-29, 2013, issue

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