Illinois home sales and median prices rise again in August

FOR RELEASE: Sept. 21, 2015

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

Illinois home sales and median prices rise again in August 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois closed out the summer housing market with moderate gains in both home sales and median prices in August, even as available inventory remained lower than a year ago, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in August 2015 totaled 15,088 homes sold, up 0.9 percent from August 2014 when 14,957 homes sold.

The statewide median price in August 2015 rose to $180,900, a 3.4 percent gain over August 2014’s statewide median price of $175,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“The rising median prices seen in this summer’s market has coaxed many sellers to overcome lingering reluctance and list properties,” 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. “That stated, there is still an abundance of demand even at elevated prices as potential buyers choose from a diminished pool of homes at a rapid rate.”

The time it took to sell a home in August averaged 64 days statewide, down from 67 days a year ago and up from 59 days last month. Available housing inventory remained tight with 71,616 homes for sale, an 8.7 percent decline from August 2014 when there were 78,466 homes.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central Region was 3.90 percent in August 2015, down from 4.04 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In August 2014 it averaged 4.11 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area, home sales (single family and condominiums) in August 2015 totaled 10,854, an increase of 2.8 percent from the 10,554 sales in August 2014.

The median price in August in the Chicago PMSA was $220,900, up 2.7 percent from $215,000 in August 2014.

“Sales returned to a more modest long-term annual growth rate in August while prices continued to increase,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the University of Illinois. “Of interest in Chicago was the fact that the median price of non-foreclosed properties remained virtually unchanged while the median price for foreclosed properties increased, contributing to the modest overall price increase.  From our data, the percentage of distressed sales among the total sales for the Chicago PMSA was 13.5 percent in August.  However, the good news is that it was the lowest August reading since 2009 and much lower than the peak (23.7 percent) in 2010.”

According to the data, thirty-eight (38) Illinois counties reported sales gains for August 2015 over previous-year numbers, including Kendall County, up 15.6 percent with 245 units sold; Tazewell County, up 13.8 percent with 181 units sold; Kankakee County, up 7.8 percent with 110 units sold; and Lake County, up 2.7 percent with 1,013 units sold.

Fifty-one (51) counties recorded median price gains in August 2015 over previous-year numbers, including Champaign County, up 9.9 percent to $154,900; St. Clair County, up 6.2 percent to $137,000; and Kane County, up 3.0 percent to $204,000.

The city of Chicago saw sales of 2,629 homes in August 2015, up 6.3 percent from last year when 2,474 homes were sold. The median price of a home in Chicago was $270,000, up 0.2 percent over August 2014 when the median price was $269,500.

“It’s taking a phenomenally short time to sell a home in the city of Chicago,” said Hugh Rider, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and co-president of Realty and Mortgage Co. in Chicago. “Buyers have a short window to swoop in and make an offer because there are so many others looking for properties even this late into the selling season.”

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 Sept. 8, 2015 for the period of Aug. 1 through Aug. 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.

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 Sept. 21. He can be reached at 312-320-3460.