Illinois median home prices increase 7.2 percent in July; Home sales down, but homes selling faster

FOR RELEASE: August 21, 2014

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

Illinois median home prices increase 7.2 percent in July;
Home sales down, but homes selling faster

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois home prices rose again in July, marking nearly two years of annual gains. Home sales dipped as tight credit standards and lower, but improving inventory levels continue to affect the market, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in July 2014 totaled 15,390 homes sold, down 6.5 percent from 16,465 in July 2013.

The statewide median price in July was $179,000, up 7.2 percent from July 2013 when the median price was $167,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

"Buyers are snapping up properties quickly, showing that the desire to own a home is undiminished by fewer homes on the market," said Phil Chiles, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and Broker-Associate with The Real Estate Group in Springfield. "The high level of interest in buying is forcing prices higher, a trend we have seen through much of the year."

The average time it takes to sell a home continues to decline. In July, it took 65 days on average to sell a home in the state, down 9.7 percent from 72 days last year. The average time to sell a home in the Chicago area was 50 days in July, and 43 days in the city of Chicago.  

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 4.11 percent in July 2014, down from 4.17 percent in June, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In July 2013 it averaged 4.35 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in July 2014 totaled 11,125 homes sold, down 8.0 percent from July 2013 sales of 12,090 homes.

The median price in July 2014 was $218,000 in the Chicago PMSA, up 9.0 percent from $200,000 in July 2013.

“While sales in July were weaker than last year, they are still stronger for the same month in any other year between 2008 and 2012.  Once again, median prices are still growing robustly,” noted Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois.

“The improving national job market is reflected in a more confident attitude on the part of consumers and home builders, although recent employment growth in Illinois has underperformed both the Midwest and the nation. If the current foreclosure inventory continues to decrease at recent rates, then the inventory will return to pre-recession levels by the end of the year in Illinois.”

Thirty-three (33) of 102 counties in Illinois showed annual home sales increases in July 2014. Fifty-six (56) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Rock Island, up 25.9 percent to $107,000; St. Clair, up 20.4 percent to $140,000; Cook, up 7.7 percent to $224,000; McLean, up 6.5 percent to $165,000; and Champaign, up 1.6 percent to $148,250.

The city of Chicago saw an 8.2 percent year-over-year decrease in home sales in July 2014 with 2,664 sales, down from 2,902 in July 2013. The median price rose to $270,000 versus $250,000 in July 2013, an annual increase of 8.0 percent.

“July proved to be another strong month in the city of Chicago, with a median home price increase of 8 percent to $270,000 from $250,000 in July 2013,” said Matt Farrell, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and managing partner of Urban Real Estate.

“Inventory remains low even when the summer season is popular with sellers looking to move. Now is an ideal time for sellers to contemplate their own long-term plans and consider preparing their home for a fall sale. Interest rates remain historically low, and buyers are still seeking homes in a market with a shortage of housing options.”

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 Aug. 7, 2014 for the period July 1 through July 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 August 21.