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REGIONAL SPOTLIGHT—Data released recently by the Illinois Association of REALTORS® shows signs that the state’s housing market is strengthening.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in July 2012 totaled 12,355 homes sold, up 25.5 percent from 9,846 home sales in July 2011. This was the best July performance since 2007 when 14,738 homes were sold in Illinois.

The statewide median price in July was $148,000, down 1.7 percent from July 2011 when the median price was $150,575. Median prices in July 2012 were $25,650 higher than they were in January 2012. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“The sales momentum we saw building in the first six months of 2012 is continuing into the latter half of the year,” says Loretta Alonzo, CRB, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and Broker-Owner of Century 21 Alonzo & Associates in La Grange Park, Ill. “Low interest rates and home prices will give the market a foundation for continued strengthening.”

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 3.54 percent in July 2012, down from 3.67 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Last year in July it averaged 4.59 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single family and condominiums) in July 2012 totaled 8,551 homes sold, up 29.1 percent from July 2011 sales of 6,624 homes. The median price in July 2012 was $172,000 in the Chicago PMSA, down -5.9 percent compared to July 2011 when it was $182,700.

“Despite the unclear signals for the future pace of economic recovery, the Illinois and Chicago-area housing sales and price forecasts suggest that the housing market will maintain the positive momentum into the fall,” says Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois.

More than half of Illinois counties reporting (62 of 101) showed year-over-year home sales increases in July 2012. Fifty (50) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including DuPage, up 1.1 percent to $220,000; Grundy, up 15.8 percent to $139,000; Kankakee, up 4.2 percent to $123,449; LaSalle, up 13.6 percent to $100,250; McLean, up 3.8 percent to $165,000; Rock Island, up 5.6 percent to $99,750; and Winnebago, up 3.9 percent to $93,500.

In the city of Chicago, July 2012 home sales (single family and condominiums) totaled 2,088, up 26.2 percent from 1,655 homes sold in July 2011. The city of Chicago median home sale price for July 2012 was $205,000, down 2.4 percent compared to July 2011 when it was $210,000.

The city of Chicago saw a continued incline in the number of all units sold through July 2012 over the same period in 2011, including 23.2 percent more condos sold in Chicago.

“Condos remain a cornerstone of the Chicago marketplace and an affordable option for first-time homebuyers and investors looking for both value and the experience of city living,” says REALTOR® Zeke Morris, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®. “Condo sales remain a strong indicator of a market recovery. Competitive pricing and low interest rates create investment opportunities some may have not otherwise been able to achieve.”

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 August 7, 2012 for the period July 1 through July 31, 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.

For more information, visit www.illinoisrealtor.org/marketstats.


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