Affordability Continues to Trend in First Quarter of 2011

by Chicago Agent

According to the Illinois Association of Realtors, 70 percent of homes sold in the first quarter of 2011 were sold for under $200,000.

The median price for homes during the first quarter of 2011 was $131,175, which was down 8.9 percent from the first quarter of 2010.

In 2011, there were 18,940 homes sold in the first quarter, including single-family homes and condominiums. This is down 11.2 percent from the first quarter of 2010, which had reported sales of 21,320 homes. However, this is an increase from 2009, which had reported sales of 17,194 homes.

In a statement, 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 said, “Sales in the first quarter slowed from the same period a year ago given the absence of the federal tax credit that was in full swing last year. There is positive news to be found in the double-digit sales growth from the first quarter of 2009 and news from an economic standpoint that we are seeing trending growth in the median sales price month-to-month.”

Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA) total home fell 9.9 percent from 14,364 in 2010 to 12,937 in the first quarter of 2011. The median price also fell from $175,500 in 2010 to $155,000 in 2011.

Forty-six of the 99 reporting counties in Illinois showed year-over-year median home price increase or no change.

The City of Chicago reported a sales decrease of 15.5 percent from this time last year. In 2010, the total number of homes sold in the first quarter totaled 4,241; in 2011, that number fell to 3,540. The median price also fell from $196,000 in 2010 to $180,000 in 2011.

First quarter interest rates for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged at 4.89 percent. This is up from the fourth quarter of 2010, but down from this time last year.

“Recall that for this quarter last year the influence of the federal housing incentive program was at its peak, with housing sales elevated over the levels recorded the previous year. However, there was little influence on prices,” said Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois, in statement. “For once there appears to be some encouraging news. The year-over-year changes by month suggest a moderation of price declines for most regions of the state.”

Sales and price information was generated from a survey of Multiple Listing Service sales reported by 35 participating Illinois Realtors local Boards and Associations.

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