Illinois Home Sales surge 14.8 percent in final quarter of 2011

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  February 9, 2012

Contact: Jon Broadbooks, 217-529-2600

Illinois Home Sales surge 14.8 percent in final quarter of 2011

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – According to the Illinois Association of REALTORS® fourth quarter 2011 report, Illinois home sales (single family and condominiums) totaled 25,394, up 14.8 percent from 22,114 home sales in the fourth quarter of 2010. The 4Q11 statewide median home sales price was $128,000, down 10.8 percent from $143,500 in 4Q10. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

“For homebuyers who are feeling confident enough to re-enter the housing market, this data shows there is great opportunity for them,” said Loretta Alonzo, CRB, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and broker-owner of Century 21 Alonzo & Associates in La Grange Park. “Growing optimism about the economy and low interest rates generated a lot of interest in real estate in the final part of the year.”

The 4Q11 interest rate for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 4.0 percent in the North Central Region, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. It was down from 4.31 percent in the third quarter and also down from 4.44 percent a year ago in 4Q10.

“Looking forward there is the likelihood that there will be year-over-year sales gains in the state through the first quarter of 2012,” said Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois. “While we are seeing the time on market for homes decline to less than ten months, the large foreclosure inventory could create some challenges in the housing market this year.”

In the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA) total home sales (single-family and condominiums) were up 20.4 percent in 4Q11 to 17,321 homes sold compared to 14,392 home sales in 4Q10. The region’s 4Q11 median price was $148,300, down 14.0 percent from $172,500 in 4Q10.

In the city of Chicago, total home sales (single-family and condominiums) in 4Q11 were up 11.1 percent to 4,225 sales compared to 3,804 sales in 4Q10. The city of Chicago median price was $159,999, down 8.6 percent from $175,000 in 4Q10. 

“Chicago continues to show an absorption of properties in the market by aggressive buyers seeking great opportunities to purchase now,” said REALTOR® Bob Floss, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and broker-owner of Bob Floss and Son Realty. “The decrease in median price and increase in units sold continues to show the downward pressure distressed sales still have on property values across the city. With interest rates at historic lows and sellers and buyers looking to make real deals close, 2012 remains an excellent time for first-time, right-size buyers, or investors to get off the fence and make long-term investments in real estate.”

Sixty-one of 98 Illinois counties reporting showed year-over-year home sales increases in 4Q11. Forty-five of 98 counties reported median price increases during the period including Coles, up 32.6 percent to $90,200; Kankakee, up 8.6 percent to $115,000; Madison, up 1.4 percent to $106,500; Menard, up 39.3 percent to $139,300; Monroe, up 2.1 percent to $165,000; and Whiteside, up 12.5 percent to $85,500.

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 January 7, 2012 reported for the period October 1 through December 31, 2011. The Chicagoland 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 market stats data at www.illinoisrealtor.org/marketstats.

County Data: 4Q 2011 Single Family (pdf) | 4Q 2011 Condo (pdf) | 4Q 2011 All Sales (pdf)

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** Economist Geoff Hewings will be available for media interviews between 9 a.m. and noon CST on Thursday, February 9.