SPRINGFIELD, IL – May 21, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — Illinois home sales had their strongest showing in two years and statewide median prices remained steady for the second straight month, April data released by the Illinois Association of REALTORS® show.
Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in April 2012 totaled 9,961 homes sold, up 15.7 percent from 8,606 home sales in April 2011. This was the best performance since 2010 when 10,897 homes were sold in April.
The statewide median price in April was $135,000, even with April 2011. This was the third straight month of median price increases in Illinois, and marked a $5,000 jump in median prices over March 2012’s median price of $130,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.
“The fact that median prices remain steady and sales continue to outpace previous-year levels is a positive sign for the housing market,” said Loretta Alonzo, CRB, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and Broker/Owner of Century 21 Alonzo & Associates in La Grange Park. “Despite the month-to-month increases in median prices, it’s clear that there still are very attractive deals out there.”
Spring is traditionally a strong selling season, but the low home prices and interest rates that are nearly a full percentage point below April 2011 levels are sending clear signals to buyers that they need to move now, Alonzo said.
The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 3.89 percent in April 2012, down from 3.99 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Last year in April it averaged 4.87 percent.
In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single family and condominiums) in April 2012 totaled 6,814 homes sold, up 19.3 percent from April 2011 sales of 5,710 homes. The median price in April 2012 was $160,000 in the Chicago PMSA, down 1.5 percent compared to last year in April when it was $162,500.
“The latest employment and housing data for April provide significant evidence of the close relationship between the recovery of the economy and the housing market,” noted Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “The good first quarter in the housing market paralleled the significant job growth in the economy; the disappointing economic performance in April is reflected in a less optimistic forecast for the housing market through the summer. However, house prices do seem to be stabilizing.”
Close to half of Illinois counties reporting (47 of 99) showed year-over-year home sales increases in April 2012. Forty-two (42) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Champaign, up 4.3 percent to $140,750; DuPage, up 10 percent to $209,000; Kane, up 9.3 percent to $153,000; Kankakee, up 3.1 percent to $115,000; Kendall, up 10.1 percent to $165,000; Madison, up 2.3 percent to $112,500; and Peoria, up 18.4 percent to $123,165.
In the city of Chicago, April 2012 home sales (single family and condominiums) totaled 1,750, up 19.4 percent from 1,466 homes sold in April 2011. The city of Chicago median home sale price for April 2012 was $184,800, up 9.3 percent compared to April 2011 when it was $169,000.
“In the city of Chicago, a more than 19 percent increase in condo sales through April 2012 over the same time period last year is positive,” said REALTOR® Bob Floss, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and Managing Broker/Owner of Bob Floss and Son Realty. “With rents in the city of Chicago increasing, paired with a limited supply of rentals available, renters are reviewing their options. Historically low interest rates and great opportunities in the market are compelling to both first-time and move-up buyers looking to spend their dollars wisely and own their own home.”
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 May 7, 2012 for the period April 1 through April 30, 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 May 22.