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RISMEDIA, May 30, 2007-April home sales in Illinois rose for the third consecutive month in 2007, yet are lower than sales from April 2006. According to the Illinois Association of Realtors(R) latest report, total home sales (which include single-family and condominiums) were up 9.6% in April 2007 to 12,932 homes sold compared to 11,797 homes sold in March 2007. Sales were 12.1% below the 14,718 homes sold in April 2006.

The Illinois median home price in April was $201,000, off 0.5% from $202,000 a year earlier. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

Year-to-date, home sales were down 13.4% to 42,372 compared to 48,953 homes sold January through April 2006.

“The Illinois housing market continues to progressively up-tick month-to-month. Location and pricing are key factors for getting a home sold,” said Robert Zoretich, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors. “Recent news regarding economic factors including rising energy costs and tighter lending standards due to the subprime situation has added to the tentativeness factor for buyers leading some to delay home-purchase decisions. This remains, however, a good time for buyers to view a larger inventory and take advantage of attractive mortgage interest rates and flat prices in some areas.”

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 6.23% in April 2007, up 0.04 points from the 6.19 average rate during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Last year in April it averaged 6.60%.

The statewide average home price in April was $253,348, up 1.0% from $250,736 a year earlier.

In the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales totaled 8,727 in April 2007, down 16.1% from 10,401 home sales in the same month last year.

The median home price for the Chicagoland PMSA was $252,000, up 2.9% from $245,000 in April 2006. The average home price for Chicagoland was $313,764, up 3.9% from $301,964 in April 2006.

“Realtors can help educate buyers about current market conditions to ease some of the uncertainty. Owning a home is a long-term investment that slowly builds wealth for most families,” said Zoretich, broker-owner of Zoretich Realty Group in Chicago. “Positive demographic trends including more jobs in Illinois and demand from boomers and minorities will help move along the market going forward.”

Sales and price information is generated from a survey of Multiple Listing Service sales reported by 35 participating Illinois REALTOR(R) 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.

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