Illinois home sales and median prices surge higher in July

FOR RELEASE: August 20, 2015

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

Illinois home sales and median prices surge higher in July 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The strong summer housing market continued in July as home sales and median prices posted robust gains while the time it took to sell a home declined, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in July 2015 totaled 16,901 homes sold, up 8.0 percent from July 2014 when 15,644 homes sold.

The statewide median price in July 2015 rose to $190,000, a 6.1 percent gain over July 2014’s statewide median price of $179,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“The strong year-over-year gains we saw in July suggest there is plenty of steam left in this market,” said Jim Kinney, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, SRES, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and vice president for luxury sales for Baird & Warner in Chicago. “Buyers are finding they have to work quickly once they find the home they want since inventories are very low.”

The time it took to sell a home in July averaged 58 days statewide, down from 65 days a year ago and faster than 63 days last month. Available housing inventory remained tight with 72,371 homes for sale, a 7.7 percent decline from July 2014 when there were 78,373 homes.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central Region was 4.04 percent in July 2015, up from 3.98 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In July 2014 it averaged 4.11 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area, home sales (single family and condominiums) in July 2015 totaled 12,384, an increase of 9.6 percent from the 11,298 sales in July 2014.

The median price in July in the Chicago PMSA was $226,700, up 4.0 percent from $218,000 in July 2014.

“Sales growth, on a yearly basis, returned to more modest rates last month after the rapid monthly change the previous month,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the University of Illinois. “Prices in Illinois are forecast to grow more strongly than in Chicago, although the gap is narrowed when using the new REAL Housing Price Index that captures house characteristics. Foreclosures continue to play a smaller role in the housing market and while the foreclosure inventory is relatively unchanged, sales prices for foreclosed properties continue to increase.”

According to the data, fifty-two (52) Illinois counties reported sales gains for July 2015 over previous-year numbers, including DeKalb County, up 25.8 percent with 122 units sold; Sangamon County, up 23.4 percent with 306 units sold; Will County, up 16.7 percent with 1,181 units sold; and Champaign County, up 15.8 percent with 322 units sold.

Fifty-two (52) counties recorded median price gains in July 2015 over previous-year numbers, including LaSalle County, up 17.8 percent to $119,600; Winnebago County, up 14.3 percent to $100,000; Cook County, up 6.7 percent to $238,950; and Peoria County, up 4.0 percent to $136,200.

The city of Chicago saw sales of 2,989 homes in July 2015, up 9.7 percent from last year when 2,725 homes were sold. The median price of a home in Chicago was $285,000, up 5.2 percent over July 2014 when the median price was $271,000.

“The busy summer homebuying season is closing out on a high note," said Hugh Rider, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and co-President of Realty and Mortgage Co. in Chicago. "We've seen solid gains throughout the year, and there is every expectation that we'll see the market momentum continue into the fall as buyers select from reduced inventories."

Sales and price information is generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 29 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC as of Aug. 7, 2015 for the period of July 1 through July 31. 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. (Note: Due to a transition to a new Multiple Listing Service platform, data for the West Central Illinois Association of REALTORS® is not included in the July report.)

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 Aug. 20. He can be reached at 312-320-3460.