Chicago area ends 49 months of median price decreases.
FOR RELEASE: June 21, 2012
For Further Information Contact: Jon Broadbooks, 217-529-2600
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Home sales in Illinois recorded their best May performance since 2007, and year-over-year median sales prices moved into positive territory in the Chicago area for the first time in more than four years, data released by the Illinois Association of REALTORS® show.
Statewide home sales  (including single-family homes and condominiums) in May 2012 totaled 11,984 homes sold, up 22.1 percent from 9,815 home sales in May 2011. This was the best May performance since 2007 when 14,493 homes were sold in Illinois.
The statewide median price in May was $145,000, up 3.6 percent from May 2011. This was the third straight month of median price increases in Illinois, and marked a $22,650 jump in median prices since January. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.
“If there was any uncertainty about whether the housing market was going to hold up as we moved deeper into the year, that’s been dispelled,” said Loretta Alonzo, CRB, GRI, Broker-Owner of Century 21 Alonzo and Associates in La Grange Park and president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. “To have such a strong statewide showing later in the spring selling season, and to see the Chicago area snap a 49-month trend of median price decreases is huge news. All the indicators seem to reflect a stabilizing housing market, which is a strong contributor to a broader economic recovery.”
The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 3.83 percent in May 2012, down from 3.89 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Last year in May it averaged 4.67 percent.
In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single family and condominiums) in May 2012 totaled 8,276 homes sold, up 25.3 percent from May 2011 sales of 6,605 homes. The median price in May 2012 was $170,000 in the Chicago PMSA, up 0.1 percent compared to last year in May when it was $169,900. The last time prices showed year-over-year gains in the Chicago PMSA was March 2008.
“For the first time since the recession began, median house prices are increasing on an annual basis and are forecast to continue this trend through the end of the summer,” noted Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois. “The weaker than expected job figures for the last few months appear not to have affected the housing market; inventories are down, sales volumes are up and the pending sales index is at its highest point since 2008.”
More than half of Illinois counties reporting (59 of 100) showed year-over-year home sales increases in May 2012. Fifty-one (51) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Champaign, up 5.0 percent to $144,950; Cook, up 3.0 percent to $170,000; Jo Daviess, up 13.1 percent to $142,500; Kane, up 9.2 percent to $158,900; Kankakee, up 8.9 percent to $116,500; Madison, up 13.3 percent to $127,900; McHenry, up 4.6 percent to $152,608; Peoria, up 16.7 percent to $120,500; Rock Island, up 7.8 percent to $88,678; and Winnebago, up 1.9 percent to $88,450.
In the city of Chicago, May 2012 home sales (single family and condominiums) totaled 2,037, up 19.6 percent from 1,703 homes sold in May 2011. The city of Chicago median home sale price for May 2012 was $203,000, up 6.8 percent compared to May 2011 when it was $190,000.
“First-time homebuyers, move-up buyers and investors are finding compelling pricing and historically low interest rates as a perfect incentive to buy now,” said REALTOR® Bob Floss, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and managing broker-owner of Bob Floss and Son Realty. “With a scarce supply of rental homes available and rents increasing across the city, those on the fence are using this market to make their mark and purchase a home. REALTORS® are optimistic the market is stabilizing and will continue to show affordable options be absorbed by homebuyers this 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 data as of June 7, 2012 for the period May 1 through May 31, 2012. 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 that safeguards and advances the interest of real property ownership.
Find Illinois housing stats data and the University of Illinois REAL forecast at www.illinoisrealtor.org/marketstats .
MEDIA ONLY: Economist Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings will be available for media interviews between 9 a.m. and noon CST on June 21.