Regional Spotlight—Illinois home sales increased 15.2 percent over previous-year levels in December and median prices increased 5.6 percent, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.
Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in December 2012 totaled 10,265 homes sold, up from 8,908 in December 2011. Year-end 2012 home sales totaled 128,436, up 22.9 percent from 104,480 in 2011.
The statewide median price in December was $132,000, up 5.6 percent from December 2011 when the median price was $125,000. The December median price reflects a 10 percent gain from the year’s low point of $120,000 in February 2012. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. Year-end 2012 median price reached $139,000, up 0.7 percent from $138,000 in 2011.
“Throughout 2012 we saw signs the state’s housing market was recovering,” says Michael D. Oldenettel, CRS, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. “When you look at where we were in January 2012 versus where we ended up in December, you have to be impressed with the market’s resilience.”
The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 3.32 percent in December 2012, down from 3.33 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Last December it averaged 3.94 percent.
In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single family and condominiums) in December 2012 totaled 7,372 homes sold, up 19.2 percent from December 2011 sales of 6,184 homes. Year-end 2012 home sales totaled 90,365, up 26.7 percent from 71,315 homes sold in the region in 2011.
The median price in December 2012 was $151,500 in the Chicago PMSA, up 4.5 percent from $145,000 in December 2011. The year-end 2012 median price reached $160,000, down -1.5 percent from $162,500 in 2011.
“Positive signs for the housing market continue with the comparative advantage of ownership versus rental generating a significant opportunity for increased housing sales in 2013,” says Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “The housing market is likely to experience some bumpiness in the first quarter of the year until there is resolution of the fiscal challenges in Washington and Springfield. Declining consumer confidence reflects the uncertainties; consumers are unlikely to explore major purchases, especially of houses, when tax rates, mortgage interest deductions and pension obligations remain unresolved.”
Out 102 Illinois counties reporting to IAR, 50 showed year-over-year home sales increases in December 2012. Additionally, 39 counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Cook, up 7.7 percent to $150,000; Jo Daviess, up 3.7 percent to $169,000; Kane, 9.4 percent to $142,270; Madison, up 24.5 percent to $114,500; Sangamon, up 3.5 percent to $124,500; Rock Island, up 7.4 percent to $91,250; Tazewell, up 23.1 percent to $129,900; and Winnebago, up 6.1 percent to $79,950.
The city of Chicago saw a 14.6 percent year-over-year home sales increase in December 2012 with 1,806 sales, up from 1,576 in December 2011. The year-end 2012 home sales totaled 22,333, up 22.4 percent from 18,250 home sales in 2011.
The condo market in the city of Chicago showed a sales increase of 17.7 percent to 1,037 units sold in December 2012.
The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in December 2012 was $185,000 up 19.4 percent compared to December 2011 when it was $155,000. The year-end 2012 median price reached $185,000, up 5.7 percent from $175,000 in 2011.
“December showed positive indicators across the board at the height of the holiday season, which is typically a quiet time for home sales,” says REALTOR® Zeke Morris, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®. “In addition, the 18.9 percent decrease in market time from the same time in 2011 shows a continued clearing of inventory, of both single-family homes and condominiums, which should prompt action among buyers and sellers and continue to promote home price stabilization.”
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 Jan. 7, 2013 for the period Dec. 1 through Dec. 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.