August Illinois Home Sales Up 25.9 Percent from a Year Ago

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  September 21, 2011

Contact:
Mary Schaefer/Ann Londrigan
217-529-2600

August Illinois Home Sales Up 25.9 Percent from a Year Ago
Statewide Median Price at $149,000

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — According to the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) latest report, statewide home sales (including single family and condominiums) in August 2011 totaled 10,622 homes sold, up 25.9 percent from 8,434 home sales in August 2010. The statewide median price in August was $149,000, down 5.4 percent from $157,500 in August 2010. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

“Housing sales in Illinois and the nine-county Chicago region increased in August and positive year-to-year changes are forecast in both the Chicago PMSA and Illinois for the next three months of September, October and November,” said Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois. “However, the job market confirmed that the nation’s economic recovery is slowing down; the Illinois unemployment rate has increased four months in a row after 15 consecutive months of declines.”

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single family and condominiums) in August 2011 totaled 7,187 homes sold, up 27.6 percent from August 2010 sales of 5,632 homes. The median price in August 2011 was $176,500 in the Chicago PMSA, down 10.4 percent compared to last year in August when it was $197,000.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 4.26 percent in August 2011, down from 4.59 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Last year in August it averaged 4.43 percent.

“A strong buyer’s market continues in the Illinois housing market with record low mortgage interest rates and lower home prices although job worries and overall economic uncertainty are holding many back,” said REALTOR® Sheryl Grider Whitehurst, ABR, CRB, GRI, e-PRO, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and a managing broker for Traders Realty in Peoria. “In some local markets prices are firming as homes are selling due to high affordability conditions and pent-up demand; 8.5 percent more homes sold statewide in August compared to the previous month of July.”

Sixty-seven percent of Illinois counties reporting (67 of 100) showed year-over-year sales increases in August 2011. Over half (51 of 100) showed year-over-year median price increases including Champaign, up 2.8 percent to $148,000; Kankakee, up 10.2 percent to $124,500; Macoupin, up 8.8 percent to $89,200; McLean, up 14.0 percent to $171,000; Monroe, up 12.3 percent to $202,200; Peoria, up 14.7 percent to $132,500; and Williamson, up 5.7 percent to $115,000.

Adds Hewings: “Once again the debate has been joined about the appropriate response from the federal government to the lagging economy—attention to the deficit or a second stimulus package—but increasingly consumers are signaling frustration with Washington politics. The uncertainties and lack of a clearly articulated economic recovery strategy combine to dampen prospects for a sustained housing recovery.”

In the city of Chicago, August 2011 home sales (single family and condominiums) totaled 1,787, up 20.3 percent from 1,486 homes sold in August 2010. The city of Chicago median home sale price for single family and condominiums in August 2011 was $192,500, down 3.8 percent compared to August 2010 when it was $200,000.

“August home sales prices in the city of Chicago continue to show positive signs for condo and single family homes,” said Mabel Guzman, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®. “With the number of condo units up 22.1 percent over sales from August 2010 and an increase of 17.8 percent of single family homes, respectively, we are seeing increased activity and more buyers making decisions to buy in a competitive market with historically low interest rates and compelling pricing.”

Sales and price information is generated from a survey of Multiple Listing Service sales reported by 32 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of September 7, 2011 reported for the period August 1 through August 31, 2011. 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. 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.

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

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