Home sales, median prices increase in January; housing gains extend into new year

Feb 21, 2013, 09:00 ET from Illinois Association of REALTORS

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Illinois home sales increased 31.1 percent over previous-year levels in January and median prices increased 1.2 percent, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in January 2013 totaled 8,502 homes sold, up from 6,484 in January 2012.

The statewide median price in January was $125,000, up 1.2 percent from January 2012 when the median price was $123,500. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

"The steady improvement we saw through much of 2012 seems to be continuing in 2013," said Michael D. Oldenettel, CRS, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and Managing Broker/Owner with RE/MAX Results Plus in Jacksonville, Ill. "All the numbers we track show that Illinois appears to be on the way to a real and sustained housing recovery."

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 3.40 percent in January 2013, up from 3.32 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Last January it averaged 3.92 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in January 2013 totaled 6,244 homes sold, up 36.8 percent from January 2012 sales of 4,564 homes.

The median price in January 2013 was $141,000 in the Chicago PMSA, up 0.7 percent from $140,000 in January 2012.

"Foreclosures continue to dampen price gains and reduce inventory levels as prospective sellers are wary of the effect these properties have on their own prospects," said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.  "However, the sales volumes are impressive and with foreclosure sales continuing to outpace new additions, there is some expectation that over the next year, prices might start to move upward in some sustained fashion."

Fifty-nine (59) of 102 Illinois counties reporting to IAR showed year-over-year home sales increases in January 2013. Fifty (50) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Sangamon, up 10.2 percent to $135,000; Will, up 5.5 percent to $152,990; Cook, up 3.1 percent to $135,000; and Winnebago, up 0.1 percent to $75,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 32.2 percent year-over-year home sales increase in January 2013 with 1,485 sales, up from 1,123 in January 2012.  

The condo market in the city of Chicago showed a sales increase of 29.7 percent to 829 units sold in January 2013.

The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in January 2013 was $159,000 up 7.4 percent compared to January 2012 when it was $148,000.

"The first month of 2013 continues to show positive signs of a market recovery in the city of Chicago," said REALTOR® Zeke Morris, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and Operating Principal and Managing Broker, Keller Williams Realty, CCG. "The median price of a condo rose to $202,500, up 8.7 percent from January of last year.  The condo market's slow revival shows a steady but measured improvement that we will continue to watch as an indicator for the greater health of the city's housing marketplace in 2013."

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 Feb. 7, 2013 for the period Jan. 1 through Jan. 31, 2013. 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.

The Illinois Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade association whose 41,000 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. In addition to serving the professional needs of its members, the Illinois Association of REALTORS® works to protect the rights of private property owners in the state by recommending and promoting legislation to safeguard and advance the interest of real property ownership.

Find Illinois housing stats, data and the University of Illinois REAL forecast at www.illinoisrealtor.org/marketstats.         

SOURCE Illinois Association of REALTORS