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April brings strong gains in Illinois home sales and prices

FOR RELEASE: May 20, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois housing market accelerated in April with robust home sales and a double-digit year-over-year jump in the statewide median price, according to the Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in April 2016 totaled 14,189 homes sold, up 8.2 percent from 13,110 in April 2015.

The statewide median price in April was $186,500 up 10.4 percent from April 2015 when the median price was $169,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“Any suggestion the state’s housing market was beginning to slow appears to have been premature,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Mike Drews, GRI. “A buyer can’t dawdle in a market like this. Any delay can result in losing the home they want as there are so many other motivated buyers in this spring market.”

The time it took to sell a home in April averaged 68 days, down from 76 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 60,608 homes for sale, a 14.5 percent decline from April 2015 when there were 70,921 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.60 percent in April 2016, down from 3.70 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In April 2015 it averaged 3.64 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in April 2016 totaled 10,216 homes sold, up 9.3 percent from April 2015 sales of 9,343 homes. The median price in April 2016 was $230,000 in the Chicago PMSA, up 10.6 percent from $208,000 in April 2015.

“The housing market news for the next three months indicates a continuation of the positive trends in both sales and prices,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.  “Compared to last month, more people feel it is a good time to sell, but less people feel it is a good time to buy.  Overall, consumer sentiment seems little changed with analysts pointing to the lower than expected April job growth as the probable cause.”

According to the data, fifty-four (54) Illinois counties reported sales gains for April 2016 over previous-year numbers, including Champaign County, up 27.2 percent with 229 units sold; Tazewell County, up 24.5 percent with 188 units sold; Lake County, up 18.0 percent with 919 units sold; and Cook County, up 6.8 percent with 5,528 units sold. Sixty-two (62) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Kane County, up 21.0 percent to $215,000; Winnebago County, up 16.3 percent to $100,000; Will County, up 9.6 percent to $195,000, and St. Clair County, up 9.5 percent to $125,900.

The city of Chicago saw a 7.9 percent year-over-year home sales increase in April 2016 with 2,628 sales, up from 2,435 in April 2015. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in April 2016 was $287,500, up 6.0 percent compared to April 2015 when it was $271,325.

“After posting only modest sales gains in March, Chicago saw in April a return to what would be expected in a market marked by high consumer demand,” said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and senior vice president for government relations at the Oakbrook-based Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc. “It’s taking 47 days on average to sell a home, which is a breathtaking pace and shows why inventories have plummeted once again.”

Sales and price information is generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 28 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of May 7, 2016 for the period April 1 through April 30, 2016. 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.

Illinois REALTORS® is a voluntary trade association whose more than 44,000 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. In addition to serving the professional needs of its members, Illinois 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.