Sales Down from a Year Ago
SPRINGFIELD, IL – December 22, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Economic and seasonal factors and a residual tax credit effect impacted home sales in November while prices held steady for three consecutive months with half of Illinois counties reporting posting a median price increase or no change from a year ago. According to the Illinois Association of REALTORS® latest report, statewide total home sales (single family and condominiums) were down 3.5 percent year-to-date January through November 2010 with 95,973 home sales posted compared to 99,494 home sales for the same period in 2009. For the month of November home sales totaled 6,884, down 34.5 percent from 10,505 home sales in November 2009.
The statewide median price remained unchanged from the two previous months at $145,000 in November. Year-to-date, the median price declined 2.8 percent to $153,000 from $157,412 in the period January through November 2009. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.
“November home sales reflect the consumers’ cautious mood about the economy and jobs combined with normal seasonal slowdown in activity and a sizable impact from the tax credit that ramped up home sales a year ago due to the original tax credit deadline of November 30,” said REALTOR® Sheryl Grider Whitehurst, ABR, CRB, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and the Development and Operations Coordinator for Traders Realty in Peoria. “Current affordability conditions remain high for home buyers and it is positive to note how the statewide median price has remained steady for the past three months.”
Whitehurst added: “On a bright note, two consumer confidence measures had recent upticks; the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan index reported its best level since June and the Conference Board said its November index was the highest in five months.”
The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 4.30 percent in November 2010, up from 4.21 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Last year in November it averaged 4.93 percent.
In the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA) year-to-date total home sales (including single-family and condominiums) remain up 0.3 percent January through November 2010 with 63,807 sales compared to 63,588 sales for the same period in 2009; in the month of November 4,518 homes were sold, down 34.3 percent from 6,878 homes sold in November 2009.
The median home sale price for the Chicagoland PMSA was $175,000 in November 2010, down 6.9 percent from $188,000 in November 2009. Year-to-date, the region’s median home sale price is down 5.8 percent to $186,000 from $197,500 in 2009.
“Illinois shared in the national employment gains in October adding 11,600 jobs and, despite 2,600 job losses in November, so far this year the state has added over 54,700 jobs; however, this improvement in the job market has not yet affected the housing market,” said economist Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, the Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “The gains in the housing market in the first part of 2010, prompted by the federal stimulus programs, will result in more muted changes in 2011 now that these programs have ended.”
The Illinois unemployment rate fell to 9.6 percent in November marking eight months of improvement in this indicator compared to the national unemployment rate, which moved up 0.2 percent to 9.8 percent in November.
Adds Hewings: “Over the last 12 months through November 2010 Illinois added 32,900 jobs at a rate of 0.59 percent, the largest monthly year-over-year increase since December 2007.”
In the city of Chicago, year-to-date total home sales (single-family and condominiums) remain up 0.1 percent January through November 2010 with 17,645 sales compared to 17,631 home sales for the same period in 2009; November home sales were down 38.5 percent to 1,144 sales compared to 1,859 homes sold in November 2009.
The city of Chicago median price in November 2010 was $206,000 down 4.2 percent compared to $215,000 a year ago in November 2009. The year-to-date median sales price for the city of Chicago is down 7.6 percent to $208,000 from $225,000 in 2009.
“The decrease in units sold in November 2010 over November 2009 is expected given the spike of sales at the end of 2009 as buyers made their purchases pending a then-anticipated federal tax credit expiration. Median home prices remain steady with just under a three-percent drop in condo pricing showing a stabilization in the marketplace,” said Mabel Guzman, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and a REALTOR® with Envision Real Estate LLC, Chicago. “REALTORS® still remain concerned, however, with the issues related to lack of condo financing available to qualified borrowers, ultimately offering fewer home options to buyers or perhaps buyers not making a purchase at all.”
Half of Illinois counties reporting (50 of 100 counties) posted a median price increase or no change in November 2010 compared to the same month in 2009 including: Champaign, up 5.3 percent to $140,000; DuPage, up 0.9 percent to $215,000; Madison, up 2.8 percent to $110,000; McHenry, up 2.5 percent to $175,000; McLean, up 15.6 percent to $161,900; Peoria, up 19.5 percent to $133,250; Saint Clair, up 10.0 percent to $132,000; Sangamon, up 2.6 percent to $118,000; Winnebago, up 2.6 percent to $102,600.
Sales and price information is generated from a survey of Multiple Listing Service sales reported by 35 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 46,000 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 www.illinoisrealtor.org/marketstats.
** Economist Geoff Hewings will be available for media interviews between noon and 3 p.m. CST on Wednesday, December 22.
Mary Schaefer/Ann Londrigan