Illinois Home Sales Activity Up Year-to-Date

by Chicago Agent

October continued the trend of median price growth in the majority of Illinois counties: sales were lower due to seasonal and residual tax credit factors and year-to-date sales remain positive even as the economy and foreclosures slow the recovery.

According to the Illinois Association of Realtors latest report, year-to-date total home sales (which include single-family and condominiums) statewide are up 0.1 percent January through October 2010 with 89,050 home sales compared to 88,989 home sales for the same period in 2009; year-to-date sales are up 4.6 percent in the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA). For the month of October, statewide home sales totaled 7,325, down 34.2 percent from 11,129 home sales in October 2009.

The statewide median price for the month of October was unchanged from the previous month of September 2010 at $145,000; it was down 6.5 percent from $155,000 in October 2009. Year-to-date, the median price is off 2.6 percent to $153,922 from $158,000 in the period January through October 2009. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

“Like the rest of the nation, the Illinois housing market is feeling pressure from an uncertain economy exacerbated by the cloud surrounding foreclosures as we wait out the process and return to a new normal residential real estate market,” said Realtor Sheryl Grider Whitehurst, ABR, CRB, GRI, president of IAR and the Development and Operations Coordinator for Traders Realty in Peoria. “Still the fact remains that the opportunities available now to find an affordably priced home at low-interest financing are substantial especially for those looking at the long-term benefits of homeownership.”

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was a record low 4.21 percent in October 2010, down from 4.34 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Last year in October it averaged 5.0 percent.

In the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA) year-to-date total home sales (including single-family and condominiums) remain up 4.6 percent January through October 2010 with 59,291 sales compared to 56,710 sales for the same period in 2009; in the month of October 4,672 homes were sold, down 35.9 percent from 7,286 homes sold in October 2009.

The median home sale price for the Chicagoland PMSA was $177,000 in October 2010, down 6.8 percent from $190,000 in October 2009. Year-to-date, the region’s median home sale price is down 6.1 percent to $187,750 from $199,844 in 2009.

“The Midwest continues to feature a housing market that is struggling to recover, and the story in both Illinois and Chicago reflects the experience of the broader geographic region,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, the Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “The uncertainties generated by the foreclosure lawsuit processes may provide some temporary decrease in the number of foreclosed properties entering the market. However, this is likely to be short-lived; moreover, once the legal problems clear a backlog of discounted properties will enter the market.”

The Illinois unemployment rate lowered by -0.1 point to 9.8 percent in October marking the seventh consecutive month that the state’s unemployment rate has fallen. The national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.6 percent in October and non-farm payroll employment increased by 151,000, up 874,000 since December 2009 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Adds Hewings: “The volume of job creation nationally approaches the level, on a monthly basis, that if sustained would provide some measure of optimism for a rebound in the economy in employment terms.”

In the city of Chicago, year-to-date total home sales (single-family and condominiums) remain up 4.6 percent January through October 2010 with 16,502 sales compared to 15,772 home sales for the same period in 2009; October home sales were down 39.5 percent to 1,217 sales compared to 2,012 homes sold in October 2009.

The city of Chicago median price in October 2010 was $183,000, down 14.9 percent compared to $215,000 a year ago in October 2009. The year-to-date median sales price for the city of Chicago is down 7.3 percent to $208,500 from $225,000 in 2009.

“Tightened credit and an increase of distressed assets remain concerns for the city’s housing market,” said Mabel Guzman, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors and a Realtor with Envision Real Estate LLC, Chicago. “On a positive note, it appears as though the market is stabilizing, with only a 0.7 percent decrease in the October 2010 condo market’s average price over the same period in 2009, and nearly a quarter percent increase, respectively, in the city’s single family homes.”

More than half of Illinois counties (54 of 100 counties reporting) posted a median price increase or no change in October 2010 compared to the same month in 2009 including: DuPage, up 5.3 percent to $231,500; Kendall, up 5.2 percent to $182,000; Knox, up 13.0 percent to $71,200; Lake, up 4.1 percent to $205,000; McHenry, up 1.1 percent to $174,950; McLean, up 16.6 percent to $169,000; Peoria, up 17.5 percent to $121,900; Rock Island, up 1.1 percent to $95,500; Saint Clair, up 12.5 percent to $135,000; Sangamon, up 9.7 percent to $125,500; Stephenson, up 7.1 percent to $83,000 and Williamson, up 10.5 percent to $114,900.

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.

Find Illinois market stats data at www.illinoisrealtor.org/marketstats.

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