Illinois median home prices increase in March; Number of homes on market improves, but inventories remain tight

FOR RELEASE: April 22, 2014

For Further Information Contact: Stephanie Sievers, 217-529-2600

Illinois median home prices increase in March;
Number of home on market improves, but inventories remain tight

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois home sales decreased 11.6 percent over previous-year levels in March while median prices increased 9.7 percent, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in March 2014 totaled 9,929 homes sold, down from 11,226 in March 2013. The number of houses on the market in March was down 15.8 percent compared to a year earlier, dropping from 69,869 homes for sale in March 2013 to 58,858 this year.

The statewide median price in March was $148,000, up 9.7 percent from March 2013 when the median price was $134,900. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“Low housing inventories and a decrease in the number of days to sell a home in Illinois are signals that consumers are feeling much better about the economy,” said Phil Chiles, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and Broker-Associate with The Real Estate Group in Springfield. “While the number of homes on the market increased from February levels, it’s already clear the spring market will still be characterized by fewer choices and moderately higher prices."

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 4.37 percent in March 2014, up from 4.32 percent in February, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In March 2013 it averaged 3.54 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in March 2014 totaled 7,177 homes sold, down 11.1 percent from March 2013 sales of 8,072 homes.

The median price in March 2014 was $175,000 in the Chicago PMSA, up 12.9 percent from $155,000 in March 2013. The time it took to sell a home continued to drop year-over-year in March with listings averaging 72 days until sale, a 13.3 percent decrease compared to 83 days in March 2013.

“Although the annual sales rates have declined, the month to month changes continue to be strongly positive,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois.  “In addition, positive housing price gains, continuing declines in the foreclosure inventory levels and the increasing share of sales of homes priced above $200,000 suggest a housing market that is responding positively to signals from the economy.”

Thirty-two (32) of 102 counties in Illinois showed annual home sales increases in March 2014. Forty-two (42) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including DeKalb, up 39.0 percent to $142,500; Cook, up 19.3 percent to $179,000; DuPage, up 17.7 percent to $217,750; Madison, up 5.8 percent to $98,950; and Sangamon, up 2.6 percent to $107,750.

The city of Chicago saw a 6.5 percent year-over-year home sales decline in March 2014 with 1,819 sales, down from 1,945 in March 2013. The median price rose to $237,000 versus $187,000 in March 2013, an annual increase of 26.7 percent.

"Relative to the number of homes available for sale in the marketplace, Chicago is still selling more homes than it did this time last year,” said Matt Farrell, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and managing partner of Urban Real Estate.

"Most of the transactions which closed in March are homes that went under contract in January and February, despite the inclement winter which definitely impacted an already anticipated slower winter market,” Farrell added. "Buyer demand continues to outpace available inventory; Sellers looking to make a move should be jumping off the fence now while buyers are still able to capitalize on attractive interest rates.”

Sales and price information is generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 30 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of April 7, 2014 for the period March 1 through March 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.

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 April 22.