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December Home Sales Fluctuate, But 2017 Illinois Housing Market Outpaces Previous Year

Illinois ended the year in positive territory for both sales and median prices, but the data showed the housing market continued to be affected by a lack of available inventory, according to data released by Illinois REALTORS®.

December showed a slight decrease in home sales statewide, but median prices continued what has been a 64-month long overall statewide gain in median prices.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in December 2017 totaled 11,488 homes sold, down 2.7 percent from 11,803 in December 2016. Year-end 2017 home sales totaled 164,528, up 1.2 percent from 162,636 in 2016.

The statewide median price in December was $185,000, up 6.3 percent from December 2016 when the median price was $174,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. The year-end 2017 median price reached $195,000, up 6.0 percent from $184,000 in 2016.

“The Illinois housing market posted a solid performance in 2017,” said Matt Difanis, ABR, CIPS, GRI, president of Illinois REALTORS® and broker-owner of RE/MAX Realty Associates in Champaign. “We finished the year with sales and median prices in positive territory, and we likely would have had an even stronger sales year in many markets if available inventory was able to keep pace with demand.”

The time it took to sell a home in December averaged 60 days, down from 67 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 45,825 homes for sale, a 12.3 percent decline from December 2016 when there were 52,253 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.95 percent in December 2017, an increase from 3.90 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In December 2016 it averaged 4.20 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in December 2017 totaled 8,067 homes sold, down 2.1 percent from December 2016 sales of 8,244 homes. Year-end 2017 home sales totaled 118,131, up 1.2 percent from 116,686 homes sold in the region in 2016.

The median price in December 2017 was $225,000 in the Chicago PMSA, an increase of 5.1 percent from $214,000 in December 2016. The year-end 2017 median price reached $235,000, up 5.6 percent from $222,500 in 2016.

“The forecasts for prices and sales for the first quarter of 2018 remain positive. After adjusting for inflation, prices are now 7 percent higher than pre-recession levels statewide and 9 percent higher in the Chicago PMSA.” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “A major uncertainty in 2018 is the net impact limitations on state and local tax deductibility and the mortgage interest will have on on one hand, with the reduction in tax rates that should increase consumer disposable income on the other. ”

According to the data, thirty-eight (38) Illinois counties reported sales gains for December 2017 over previous-year numbers, including Peoria County, up 30.4 percent with 210 units sold; Sangamon County, up 13.4 percent with 212 units sold; and Kane County, up 7.5 percent with 548 units sold. Forty-seven (47) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Rock Island County, up 28.6 percent to $117,000; Lake County, up 8.2 percent to $230,000; and Cook County, up 6.5 percent to $229,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 1.7 percent year-over-year home sales increase in December 2017 with 2,008 sales, up from 1,974 in December 2016. Year-end home sales totaled 28,621, a 1.8 percent increase compared to 28,104 in 2016.

The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in December 2017 was $267,500, up 2.9 percent compared to December 2016 when it was $260,000. The year-end 2017 median price reached $285,000, up 4.8 percent from $272,000 in 2016.

“Overall, we saw an active and healthy market in 2017, and are positioned well for the forthcoming spring market,” said Rebecca Thomson, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and vice president of agent development at @properties. “Buyers should expect to see expanded options on the market in the months ahead, but competition will also remain strong as demand outpaces supply and rates remain low.”

Sales and price information are generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 27 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of Jan. 7, 2018 for the period Dec. 1 through Dec. 31, 2017. 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 47,000 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.

Find Illinois housing stats, data and the University of Illinois REAL forecast at