Illinois Market Gets Moving with May Home Sales Up 19.3 Percent from April; Statewide Median Price at $158,000


SPRINGFIELD, IL – June 23, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — The month of May marked the fourth consecutive month-to-month increase in home sales for the Illinois housing market and the third monthly increase in the statewide median home sale price, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS® latest report. Total home sales (which include single-family and condominiums) were up 19.3 percent in May 2009 to 8,945 homes compared to 7,501 homes sold in April 2009. Compared to a year ago, home sales were down 21.0 percent from May 2008 sales of 11,326.

The Illinois median price in May 2009 was $158,000, up 4.5 percent from $151,200 in April 2009; it was down 16.0 percent from $188,000 a year ago in May 2008. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

“We are seeing more activity in the housing market with increased listings, more activity at showings, a surge in interest from first-time buyers as well as some improvement in time on market,” said REALTOR® Pat Callan, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. “First-time homebuyers who want to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit need to be aware that the purchase has to close no later than November 30 given the December 1 cut-off under current guidelines by the federal government. That means being under contract by early fall.”

Adds Callan: “Mortgage interest rates are another factor for moving swiftly in this market. They remain at historic lows but where they will be in coming months is uncertain.”

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 4.89 percent in May 2009, up slightly from the 4.85 average rate during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Last year in May it averaged 6.04 percent.

“Month-to-month sales have recorded increases for the months of March, April and May and this is expected to continue into June,” said Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois. “The modest recovery in housing prices and sales has been constrained by the job losses in the economy as a whole. A sustained housing recovery is still not within sight and much will depend on the degree to which federal stimulus funds and the resolution of the state’s budget generate a much needed boost to employment.”

Adds Hewings: “Since the beginning of the recession in December 2007, Illinois has posted negative job changes 18 times. Illinois’ official unemployment rate in May was 10.1 percent, the highest rate in the last 25 years.”

In the Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales were up 18.7 percent to 5,634 homes sold in May 2009 compared to 4,747 home sales in April 2009; sales were down 18.7 percent from 6,927 home sales in May 2008.

The median home sale price for the Chicagoland PMSA was $200,000 in May 2009, up 4.2 percent from $192,000 in April 2009; the median price was down 20.3 percent from $251,000 in May 2008.
In the city of Chicago, May total home sales (single-family and condominiums) were up 11.5 percent to 1,537 sales compared to April 2009 sales of 1,378; sales were down 27.5 percent from 2,119 homes sold in May 2008.

The city of Chicago median price increased 2.3 percent to $225,000 in May compared to $220,000 in April 2009; it was down 29.5 percent from $319,000 a year ago in May 2008.

“We’re encouraged to see the bank-owned inventory moving in the marketplace, indicating buyers are finding good bargains, especially in single family homes and flats,” said David Hanna, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®. “The city of Chicago condominium sales numbers continue to reflect a critical need for governmental agencies to review the growing disparity in the ability to finance a condominium purchase in the city. This affordable housing will become unaffordable and unattainable to many qualified first-time homebuyers in the city of Chicago unless existing federal guidelines, which do not take into account nuances of the local market, are modified.”

According to the IAR report, median home sale prices comparing May 2009 to the same month in 2008 were up in 37 of 98 Illinois counties reporting including Adams, up 16.2 percent to $99,900; DeWitt, up 12.0 percent to $106,250; Kankakee, up 17.8 percent to $149,000; Knox, up 4.1 percent to $76,000; Macon, up 0.1 percent to $85,050; McDonough, up 19.8 percent to $85,000; Rock Island, up 6.1% to $95,500; Stephenson, up 2.6 percent to $80,000 and Whiteside, up 6.5 percent to $90,450.

Sales and price information is generated from a survey of Multiple Listing Service sales reported by 37 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations. 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 53,000 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 market stats data at, click on Market Stats.

Mary Schaefer/Ann Londrigan


Illinois RealEstateRama is an Internet based Real Estate News and Press Release distributor chanel of RealEstateRama for Illinois Real Estate publishing community.

RealEstateRama staff editor manage to selection and verify the real estate news for State of Illinois.


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