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Illinois home prices, prices higher in December; Strong gains seen in 2015

FOR RELEASE: Jan. 22, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois home sales and prices climbed higher in December and capped off a 2015 housing market that showed a return to a more balanced market with total year-end sales and median price gains surpassing 2014, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in December 2015 totaled 11,709 homes sold, up 1.0 percent from 11,588 in December 2014. Year-end 2015 home sales totaled 155,676, up 5.9 percent from 147,051 in 2014.

The statewide median price in December was $165,000, up 7.1 percent from December 2014 when the median price was $154,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. The year-end 2015 median price reached $173,000, up 8.1 percent from $160,000 in 2014.

“The Illinois housing market continued to make positive strides in 2015,” said Mike Drews, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. “Buyer demand remains strong even amid tighter winter inventory and higher home prices bode well for homeowners thinking of selling.”

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 3.95 percent in December 2015, up from 3.93 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In December 2014 it averaged 3.85 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single family and condominiums) in December 2015 totaled 8,265 homes sold, up 2.1 percent from December 2014 sales of 8,098 homes. Year-end 2015 home sales totaled 111,462, up 6.6 percent from 104,567 homes sold in the region in 2014.

The median price in December 2015 was $199,222 in the Chicago PMSA, up 8.9 percent from $183,000 in December 2014. The year-end 2015 median price reached $210,000, up 8.5 percent from $193,500 in 2014.

“The housing market in December behaved in a similar way to its historical pattern,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “Activity in both prices and sales was modest but increases were recorded for month-over-month and compared to the same month last year. Consumer sentiment remains positive towards housing purchases with inventory levels perhaps posing problems in some submarkets.”

According to the data, thirty-seven (37) Illinois counties reported sales gains for December 2015 over previous-year numbers, including McHenry County, up 20.5 percent with 394 units sold; DuPage County, up 6.9 percent with 964 units sold; and Sangamon County, up 5.2 percent with 223 units sold. Fifty-six (56) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including St. Clair County, up 15.5 percent to $121,250; Lake County, up 13.9 percent to $205,000; Cook County, up 9.5 percent to $202,500; and Champaign County, up 4.6 percent to $140,700.

The city of Chicago saw a 0.4 percent year-over-year home sales decrease in December 2015 with 2,029 sales, up from 2,020 in December 2014. The year-end 2015 home sales totaled 27,439, up 7.8 percent from 25,461 home sales in 2014.

The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in December 2015 was $242,500, up 6.4 percent compared to December 2014 when it was $228,000. The year-end 2015 median price reached $262,000, up 6.9 percent from $245,000 in 2014.

“The Chicago market continues to post strong price gains, reflecting consumer interest in being in a vibrant city and a continuing shortage of available homes from which to choose,” said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS®. “All indicators are that the momentum we saw in 2015 will bridge over into the new year.”

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 Jan. 7, 2016 for the period Dec. 1 through Dec. 31, 2015. 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 44,000 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.