Single-family and condominium home sales for Illinois in October were up 15.3 percent from a year ago, according to new data from the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR).
Total sales volume was 8,536, and though the statewide median price was down by 10.3 percent from October 2010, IAR President Loretta Alonzo noted the current affordability in housing has spurred purchases.
“Foreclosure and short sale inventories are working through the market, and buyers in the market are favoring lower-priced homes with close to 70 percent of homes sold in October priced below $200,000 statewide,” Alonzo said. “The best prescription for the housing market is a robust economy that creates jobs and improves consumer confidence combined with removing over-reaching barriers to home financing that turn away some qualified buyers who want to make a move at this opportune time.”
Sales in the nine-county Chicagoland area were even more impressive, rising 23.7 percent from last October to 5,778 homes. For the city alone, sales were up 7.9 percent. As with statewide sales, though, both areas saw price declines, with nine-county area prices declining 15.3 percent and city prices 11.5 percent.
Bob Floss, the president of the Chicago Association of Realtors, said investors are a big part of the city’s sales increase.
“The increase in units sold in the city of Chicago continues to show the absorption of distressed properties in the market,” Floss said. “Prospective buyers in the market are making investments that make sense long-term. Those who haven’t considered buying are encouraged to work with a Realtor to assess their individual buying power in today’s market and plan how they may make a purchase given historically low interest rates and their own financial ability.”
Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, the director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois, also offered some optimistic news, namely for the Illinois statewide economy.
“As we look to the Illinois economy there is some good news,” Hewings said. “For example, in the last 12 months we have matched U.S. job growth and we haven’t done that for some time. In fact, since 1980 Illinois has only outperformed the nation three times and all that was before 1990.”