Illinois sees double-digit gains in median home prices in January

FOR RELEASE: February 23, 2015

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

Illinois sees double-digit gains in median home prices in January

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois home prices surged 10.4 percent in January 2015, providing a solid start to the new housing year, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in January 2015 totaled 7,824 homes sold, down 4.3 percent from January 2014 when 8,178 homes sold.

The statewide median price in January 2015 shot up to $150,000, a 10.4 percent gain over January 2014’s statewide median price of $135,850. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. Median prices have increased annually every month in Illinois since September 2012.

“The strong price surge in the first month of the year shows that even in a traditionally slow time for real estate there’s enormous interest in finding a home to buy,” said Jim Kinney, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and vice president for luxury sales at Baird & Warner in Chicago. “Those with homes on the market are definitely seeing traffic and with a slight reduction in inventory levels, sellers are able to command higher prices in many cases.”

The time it took to sell a home on the market remained unchanged from a year ago at 84 days. The inventory of homes available for sale in the state dropped 4.8 percent to 58,835 units, down from 61,798 units the previous year.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central Region was 3.66 percent in January 2015, down from 3.85 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In January 2014 it averaged 4.46 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area, home sales (single family and condominiums) in January 2015 totaled 5,619, a decrease of 5.2 percent from the 5,925 sales in January 2014.

The median price in January in the Chicago PMSA was $176,000, up 8.0 percent from the $163,000 in January 2014.

“Once again prices and sales moved in opposite directions in January with the sales decline attributed to a lower completion rate for homes under contract in December,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.  “In addition, foreclosure sales declined while sales of regular properties were almost the same as January 2014.”

According to the data, thirty-seven (37) counties out of 102 Illinois counties reporting recorded sales gains for January 2015 over previous-year numbers, including Will County, up 18.3 percent with 562 units sold, and Champaign County, up 15.8 percent with 132 units sold. Sixty-two (62) counties recorded median price gains in January 2015 over previous-year numbers, including St. Clair County, up 31.8 percent to $111,000; McLean County, up 24.6 percent to $163,500; and McHenry County, up 14.5 percent to $166,000.

The city of Chicago saw sales of 1,295 homes in January 2015, down 8.3 percent from last year. The median price of a home in Chicago was $222,000, up 11.0 percent over January 2014.

"Families and professionals have a strong desire to buy a home yet a full market recovery continues to be stalled by the limited homes for sale. Buyer demand on lower inventory is pushing up prices to offer sellers an incentive," said Hugh Rider, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and co-president of Realty & Mortgage Co. "With the winter thaw, we expect to see increased market growth as more homebuyers and homeowners see the opportunity to make the most of currently low interest rates."

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 as of Feb. 8, 2015 for the period of Jan. 1 through Jan. 31, 2015. 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 43,000 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


MEDIA ONLY: Economist Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings will be available for media interviews between 9 a.m. and noon CST on Feb. 23. He can be reached at 312-320-3460.