SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – April 22, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — The Illinois spring housing market got off to a strong start in March with sharp gains in year-over-year home sales and median prices, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.
Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in March 2015 totaled 11,416 homes sold, up 13.1 percent from March 2014 when 10,093 homes sold.
The statewide median price in March 2015 rose to $165,000, an 11.5 percent gain over March 2014’s statewide median price of $148,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.
“Buyers are becoming quite aggressive when it comes to looking for a home this spring,” said Jim Kinney, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and vice president for luxury sales for Baird & Warner in Chicago. “The surge in sales and median prices throughout the state in March clearly shows consumers know they have to be willing to pay more as they face a slightly smaller number of homes on the market this year versus last.”
Lower housing inventory remains a factor in the market with 61,418 homes available for sale, a 4.4 percent decline compared to March 2014 when there were 64,276 homes for sale. The time it took to sell a home in March was nearly unchanged at 87 days compared to 86 days a year ago.
The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central Region was 3.76 percent in March 2015, up from 3.68 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In March 2014 it averaged 4.37 percent.
In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area, home sales (single family and condominiums) in March 2015 totaled 8,158, an increase of 11.5 percent from the 7,314 sales in March 2014.
The median price in March in the Chicago PMSA was $204,000, up 16.6 percent from $175,000 in March 2014.
“March was an excellent month for the housing market with robust growth in both sales and
prices,” noted Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications
Laboratory of the University of Illinois. “When adjusted for inflation, median home
prices have recovered to 79 percent of their 2008 levels in Illinois and 74 percent of the prior levels in the Chicago PMSA. A further one to three years is anticipated for full recovery in the PMSA.”
According to the data, sixty-one (61) counties out of 102 Illinois counties reporting recorded sales gains for March 2015 over previous-year numbers, including McLean County, up 46.2 percent with 193 units sold; St. Clair County, up 43.2 percent with 242 units sold; and Will County, up 22.2 percent with 766 units sold. Sixty-one (61) counties recorded median price gains in March 2015 over previous-year numbers, including Champaign County, up 23.6 percent to $148,000; Kane County, up 21.2 percent to $191,500; and Sangamon County, up 11.3 percent to $119,900.
The city of Chicago saw sales of 2,118 homes in March 2015, up 13.0 percent from last year when 1,875 homes were sold. The median price of a home in Chicago was $263,079, up 11.9 percent over March 2014 when median price was $235,000.
“Chicago’s spring market is showing bounce with back-to-back months of sales increases signaling strengthening demand,” said Hugh Rider, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and co-president of Realty & Mortgage Co. “Even with fewer homes on the market, we’re seeing determined buyers finding their ideal home. This increased demand is moving median sales prices higher, offering homeowners an incentive.”
Sales and price information is generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 32 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC as of April 8, 2015 for the period of March 1 through March 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.
Contact: Stephanie Sievers, 217-529-2600
MEDIA ONLY: Economist Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings will be available for media interviews between 9 a.m. and noon CST on April 22. He can be reached at 312-320-3460.