Illinois home sales dip in December, but 2016 housing market ends on a high note

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – (RealEstateRama) — Despite a dip in home sales in December, both sales and median prices finished in positive territory in 2016, closing out a year marked by tight housing inventories and continued strong consumer demand, according to Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in December 2016 totaled 11,629 homes sold, down 2.8 percent from 11,969 in December 2015. Year-end 2016 home sales totaled 162,380, up 3.9 percent from 156,239 in 2015.

The statewide median price in December was $174,900, up 6.0 percent from December 2015 when the median price was $165,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. The year-end 2016 median price reached $184,000, up 6.4 percent from $173,000 in 2015.

“Home sales numbers likely would have been stronger in 2016 had there simply been enough inventory to satisfy demand,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter, ABR, AHWD, GRI, SFR of Mokena, managing broker of Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell in Orland Hills. “That said, Illinois home sellers are finding in many cases they can get a premium price and that they are able to sell their homes quickly, a trend we see extending in to 2017.”

The time it took to sell a home in December averaged 66 days, down from 74 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 50,213 homes for sale, a 15.7 percent decline from December 2015 when there were 59,559 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.20 percent in December 2016, an increase from 3.77 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In December 2015 it averaged 3.95 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in December 2016 totaled 8,132 homes sold, down 3.6 percent from December 2015 sales of 8,438 homes. Year-end 2016 home sales totaled 116,500, up 4.3 percent from 111,700 homes sold in the region in 2015.

The median price in December 2016 was $215,000 in the Chicago PMSA, an increase of 8.3 percent from $198,500 in December 2015. The year-end 2016 median price reached $222,500, up 6.0 percent from $210,000 in 2015.

“Consumers appear to be waiting to see what the new President and Congress plan for the economy,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “As a result, it may be several months before there is an appreciable impact on the housing market. Prices and sales are expected to continue experiencing modest gains over the first quarter.”

According to the data, thirty-nine (39) Illinois counties reported sales gains for December 2016 over previous-year numbers, including Kankakee County, up 13.3 percent with 102 units sold; Lake County, up 6.3 percent with 772 units sold; and Rock Island County, up 1.7 percent with 122 units sold. Fifty-six (56) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Winnebago County, up 18.9 percent to $101,050; Peoria County, up 16.3 percent to $109,900; and Cook County, up 8.2 percent to $216,350.

The city of Chicago saw a 7.0 percent year-over-year home sales decrease in December 2016 with 1,932 sales, down from 2,077 in December 2015. Year-end home sales totaled 28,033, a 1.9 percent increase compared to 27,513 in 2015.

The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in December 2016 was $260,000, up 8.3 percent compared to December 2015 when it was $240,000. The year-end 2016 median price reached $272,000, up 4.2 percent from $261,000 in 2015.

“The predominant trends that we’ve witnessed over the past few months continued into the winter break, and the market behaved exactly as we’d expect,” said Matt Silver, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and partner at Urban Real Estate. “The increase in rates coupled with a significant reduction in inventory due to the holidays, are helping to drive prices up as buyers get serious about purchasing a new home. In January, the homes that were pulled off the market for the holidays will return, and the busy season should begin in earnest.”

Sales and price information are generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 28 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of Jan. 9, 2017 for the period Dec. 1 through Dec. 31, 2016. 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.

Illinois REALTORS® is a voluntary trade association whose more than 44,000 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. In addition to serving the professional needs of its members, Illinois 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.illinoisrealtors.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 on Jan. 24.  He can be reached at 312-320-3460.

Contact: Stephanie Sievers, 217-529-2600

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