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Regional Spotlight: Illinois Home Sales Improve, Statewide Median Price at $193,000

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RISMEDIA, March 26, 2007-Illinois home sales rose in February from the pace set in January while weather is mostly to blame for slower sales than a year ago. According to the Illinois Association of Realtors(R) latest report, total home sales (which include single-family and condominiums) were up 2.4% in February 2007 to 8,792 homes sold compared to 8,584 homes sold in January 2007. Sales were 12.1% below the 10,007 homes sold in February 2006.

The Illinois median home price in February was $193,000, up 1.6% from $190,000 a year earlier. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

"We experienced some winter storms which delayed activity in February. Naturally the cold temperatures and snow kept buyers inside," said Robert Zoretich, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors. "The upside is that low mortgage interest rates and moderate home price appreciation will help attract buyers as the spring market gets in full swing."

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 6.25% in February 2007, down 0.04 points from the 6.29 average rate during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Last year in February it averaged 6.35%.

In the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales totaled 5,885 in February 2007, down 13.5% from 6,807 home sales in the same month last year. The median home price for the Chicagoland PMSA was $240,000, up 0.9% from $237,900 in February 2006.

"Homeownership is a safe and secure way to build long-term wealth," said Zoretich, broker-owner of Zoretich Realty Group in Chicago. "With the economy and job market performing nicely, 2007 will likely bring another respectable housing year. A gradual rise in sales and home prices is projected in the spring."

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 Chicagoland PMSA, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.

For more information, visit http://www.illinoisrealtor.org.

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