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REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT—Home sales surged 18 percent over previous year levels, with data recently released by the Illinois Association of REALTORS® showing signs that the state’s housing market is strengthening.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in June 2012 totaled 13,111 homes sold, up 18.0 percent from 11,108 home sales in June 2011. This was the best June performance since 2010 when 13,144 homes were sold in Illinois.

The statewide median price in June was $155,000, up 3.3 percent from June 2011 when the median price was $150,000. This was the fourth straight month of median price increases in Illinois, and marked a $32,650 jump in median prices since January. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“The combination of low prices and even lower interest rates in June far outweighed any lingering concerns on the part of prospective homebuyers about the broader economy,” said Loretta Alonzo, CRB, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and Broker-Owner of Century 21 Alonzo & Associates in La Grange Park, Ill. “This year’s spring selling season clearly marked a promising turn in the housing market in Illinois.”

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 3.67 percent in June 2012, down from 3.83 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Last year in June it averaged 4.53 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single family and condominiums) in June 2012 totaled 9,156 homes sold, up 22.4 percent from June 2011 sales of 7,481 homes. The median price in June 2012 was $183,000 in the Chicago PMSA, up 1.7 percent compared to June 2011 when it was $180,000. This is the second month in a row in 2012 where year-over-year median price gains were recorded in the Chicago PMSA.

“This high level of housing market activity was last seen in the first half of 2010 promoted in large part by the homebuyer’s tax credit,” noted Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois. “The current market seems to be operating more normally with perhaps some effects of the significant number of foreclosed properties that are for sale.”

More than half of Illinois counties reporting (57 of 101) showed year-over-year home sales increases in June 2012. Fifty-three (53) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Champaign, up 7.5 percent to $154,500; Cook, up 1.1 percent to $180,000; DuPage, up 3.1 percent to $230,000; Grundy, up 9.0 percent to $152,000; McLean, up 8.1 percent to $180,500; St. Clair, up 1.9 percent to $120,000; Sangamon, up 10.6 percent to $136,000; and Winnebago, up 15.1 percent to $92,000.

The city of Chicago saw an uptick in June sales, with average and median prices up across the city, including an increase in the units sold year-to-date by 16.8 percent over the same period in 2011.

In the city of Chicago, June 2012 home sales (single family and condominiums) totaled 2,246, up 22.0 percent from 1,841 homes sold in June 2011. The city of Chicago median home sale price for June 2012 was $216,700, up 4.7 percent compared to June 2011 when it was $207,000.

“Compelling interest rates and motivated sellers are helping move the market,” said REALTOR® Zeke Morris, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and Operating Principal and Managing Broker, Keller Williams Realty, CCG. “With both affordable and high-end properties attracting offers across the spectrum, we are seeing more buyers come off the fence and make decisions today about their investment in homeownership. We will continue to monitor closely the impact of distressed properties as well as continue to service our clients in the return of multiple offers in home buying.”

Sales and price information is generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 31 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of July 7, 2012, for the period June 1 through June 30, 2012. 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 housing stats data and the University of Illinois REAL forecast at www.illinoisrealtor.org/marketstats.


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