Illinois home prices climb 3.7 percent in December

Online Staff Report

SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — Illinois home prices continued to recover with median prices showing year-over-year gains every month in 2014. Home sales, while modestly lower than 2013, pointed toward a stabilizing market, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in December 2014 totaled 11,397 homes sold, down 0.9 percent from 11,499 in December 2013. Year-end 2014 home sales totaled 146,659, down 4.7 percent from 153,937 in 2013.

The statewide median price in December was $154,000, up 3.7 percent from December 2013 when the median price was $148,500. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. The year-end 2014 median price reached $160,000, up 6.7 percent from $150,000 in 2013.

This year marks what appears to be a turning point for the Illinois housing market,” said Jim Kinney, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors and vice president for luxury home sales at Baird & Warner in Chicago. “We saw strong and sustained median price gains, and sales volumes remained healthy throughout the year. The showing we had in 2014 sets the housing market up nicely for a strong start to 2015.”

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 3.85 percent in December 2014, down from 3.98 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In December 2013, it averaged 4.48 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in December 2014 totaled 7,971 homes sold, down 3.7 percent from December 2013 sales of 8,278 homes. Year-end 2014 home sales totaled 104,379, down 6.5 percent from 111,672 homes sold in the region in 2013.

The median price in December 2014 was $184,000 in the Chicago PMSA, up 4.2 percent from $176,500 in December 2013. The year-end 2014 median price reached $194,000, up 9.3 percent from $177,500 in 2013.

Prices continued to record modest gains and sales recovered in December while for the next quarter, sales are forecast to be more variable on a monthly basis although the annual changes are expected to be positive,” noted Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory. “Significant employment gains, declines in the unemployment rate and gas prices have all contributed to enhancing consumer expectations that hopefully will turn into more housing sales.”

Forty-nine of 102 Illinois counties reporting to IAR showed year-over-year home sales increases in December 2014. Fifty-two counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Sangamon, up 23.3 percent to $129,500; Champaign, up 12.4 percent to $134,250; Cook, up 6 percent to $185,500; and DuPage, up 3.3 percent to $224,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 6.8 percent year-over-year home sales decrease in December 2014 with 1,992 sales, down from 2,137 in December 2013. The year-end 2014 home sales totaled 25,414, down 6.7 percent from 27,242 home sales in 2013.

The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in December 2014 was $229,250, up 9.2 percent compared to December 2013 when it was $210,000. The year-end 2014 median price reached $245,000, up 11.4 percent from $220,000 in 2013.

Hugh Rider, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors and co-president of Realty & Mortgage Co., said: “Our housing market recovery will continue making strides in 2015. Chicago buyers are willing to navigate tight inventory, motivated by low interest rates that will likely inch upward this year. For Chicago buyers taking advantage of low rates, they are moving quickly and investing strongly in their ideal home. The average homeowner is selling in less than two months, and benefiting from higher median prices.”

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 Jan. 7, 2015, for the period Dec. 1 through Dec. 31, 2014. 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.

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

Posted Jan. 23, 2015

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