Sales, median prices show gains in October in Illinois

FOR RELEASE: November 19, 2012

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Sales, median prices show gains in October in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois home sales soared 37.3 percent over previous-year levels in October and median prices increased 3.0 percent, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in October 2012 totaled 11,775 homes sold, up from 8,577 in October 2011. The last time this many houses sold in October in Illinois was in 2006 when 13,067 homes were sold.

The statewide median price in October was $133,750, up 3.0 percent from October 2011 when the median price was $129,900. The October median price reflects a 12.9 percent gain from the year’s low point of $118,500 in February 2012. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“The rebound we have seen so far this year is impressive by any measure,” said Michael D. Oldenettel, CRS, GRI, President of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and Managing Broker/Owner with RE/MAX Results Plus in Jacksonville, Ill. “To have strong sales and median price gains as we enter the last quarter of the year is encouraging for buyers and sellers who are clearly feeling more confident about the housing market.” 

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 3.36 percent in October 2012, down from 3.49 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Last October it averaged 4.07 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single family and condominiums) in October 2012 totaled 8,326 homes sold, up 44.1 percent from October 2011 sales of 5,776 homes. The median price in October 2012 was $153,000 in the Chicago PMSA, up 2.1 percent from $149,900 in October 2011. 

The median price of a home in the Chicago area in October was $18,000 above February 2012’s median price of $135,000, the lowest median price recorded since IAR began keeping median price statistics for the Chicago PMSA in 2004.

“The modest recovery of employment conditions and stronger consumer confidence, along with low mortgage rates are responsible for the solid gain in housing demand,”said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “Based on historical data dating back to 2003, year-over-year forecasts for median prices and sales are both encouraging.”

Sixty-eight (68) of 101 Illinois counties reporting showed year-over-year home sales increases in October 2012. More than half (53) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Champaign, up 3.5 percent to $140,200; Cook, up 3.4 percent to $150,000; DuPage, up 11.4 percent to $195,000; Kendall, up 5.8 percent to $165,000; LaSalle, up 6.7 percent to $85,000; McLean, up 8.1 percent to $160,000; Monroe, up 5.8 percent to $180,000; Peoria, up 0.9 percent to $109,500; and Sangamon, up 0.8 percent to $114,950.

The city of Chicago saw a 53.1 percent year-over-year home sales increase in October 2012 with 2,009 sales, up from 1,312 in October 2011. The condo market in the city of Chicago showed a sales increase of 55.8 percent, going from 781 units sold in October 2011 to 1,217 sales in October 2012. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in October 2012 was $175,000, up 8.0 percent compared to October 2011 when it was $162,000.

“There’s a great deal of end-of-the-year excitement,” said REALTOR® Zeke Morris, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and Operating Principal and Managing Broker, Keller Williams Realty, CCG. “Typically our numbers are down in the fourth quarter, but we’re starting strong this year which is a good indicator that we’re beginning to catch up to other markets in Illinois. REALTORS® are working and gearing up to do more business.

“Although we’ve seen about an 8 percent drop in median condo prices, we’re making up for it in the number of unit sales and trending in the right direction,” he said.

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 Nov. 7, 2012 for the period Oct. 1 through Oct. 31, 2012. 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 41,000 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 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.        

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MEDIA ONLY: Economist Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings will be available for media interviews between 9 a.m. and noon CST on Nov. 19.