Illinois housing market swings into spring with higher home sales, prices in April

FOR RELEASE: May 21, 2015

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

Illinois housing market swings into spring with higher
home sales, prices in April

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The strong start to Illinois’ spring housing market continued in April with gains in year-over-year home sales and median home prices, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in April 2015 totaled 12,822 homes sold, up 6.6 percent from April 2014 when 12,032 homes sold.

The statewide median price in April 2015 rose to $170,000, a 9.7 percent gain over April 2014’s statewide median price of $155,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

"Throughout Illinois we are seeing tight housing inventories and this dynamic is providing encouragement for homeowners to get their property on the market," 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. "Demand is so high right now that buyers are willing to pay the prices that result from the decreased number of homes on the market this spring."

The time it took to sell a home in April averaged 78 days statewide, down from 82 days a year ago. Available housing inventory remained tight with 65,568 homes for sale, a 4.8 percent decline from April 2014 when there were 68,898 homes.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central Region was 3.64 percent in April 2015, down from 3.76 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In April 2014 it averaged 4.34 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area, home sales (single family and condominiums) in April 2015 totaled 9,155, an increase of 7.4 percent from the 8,522 sales in April 2014.

The median price in April in the Chicago PMSA was $210,000, up 10.5 percent from $190,000 in April 2014.

“The housing recovery continues with solid gains in prices and sales anticipated for the next three months,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.  “The influence of foreclosed properties on the Chicago metropolitan market as a whole seems to be diminishing in aggregate although important at the very local level.

According to the data, fifty (50) counties out of 102 Illinois counties reporting recorded sales gains for April 2015 over previous-year numbers, including Macon County, up 19.6 percent with 116 units sold; DuPage County, up 14.5 percent with 1,155 units sold; and Kane County, up 10.5 percent with 600 units sold. Fifty-six (56) counties recorded median price gains in April 2015 over previous-year numbers, including Winnebago County, up 22.9 percent to $86,000; Cook County, up 15.8 percent to $220,000; and Peoria County, up 12.7 percent to $124,000.

The city of Chicago saw sales of 2,386 homes in April 2015, up 5.8 percent from last year when 2,256 homes were sold. The median price of a home in Chicago was $275,000, up 10.0 percent over April 2014 when median price was $250,000.

“In Chicago, year-over-year sales and price gains are a clear sign that buyers are enthusiastic about making a purchase now despite a fewer number of homes available for sale,” said Hugh Rider, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and co-president of Realty & Mortgage Co. “With interest rates so low, we expect more buyers to seize the opportunity to make an investment. Homeowners who enter the market can anticipate strong sales prices as this trend has continued all year.”

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 May 8, 2015 for the period of April 1 through April 30. 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 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 CDT on May 21. He can be reached at 312-320-3460.