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Illinois Home Sales Lower in December; Market Closes Out


Illinois ended the year in positive territory for median prices and a slight decline in overall sales as the market contended with historically low inventory, according to data released by Illinois REALTORS®. 

December home sales declined statewide and the Illinois median price, which has experienced continuous gains for six years, posted a modest increase.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in December 2018 totaled 9,968 homes sold, down 14.7 percent from 11,691 in December 2017. Year-end 2018 home sales totaled 160,794, down 2.5 percent from 164,842 in 2017.

The statewide median price in December was $185,500, up 0.3 percent from December 2017 when the median price was $185,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. The year-end 2018 median price reached $202,000, up 3.6 percent from $195,000 in 2017.

“The housing market’s momentum softened the further into 2018 we got, but overall there are positive indicators going into the new year, particularly for sellers,” said Ed Neaves, Illinois REALTORS® president-elect and managing broker of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder Real Estate in Bloomington. “They face an environment where the number of available homes on the market will continue to be low in many areas, which will put steady upward pressure on median prices.”

The time it took to sell a home in December averaged 59 days, down from 60 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 47,048 homes for sale, a 2.4 percent decline from December 2017 when there were 48,196 homes on the market.

According to the data, home sales in the Moline-Rock Island MSA (Henry, Mercer and Rock Island counties) totaled 179, a 7.8 percent increase while the median price was down 8.0 percent to $100,000; and the Carbondale-Marion MSA (Jackson and Williamson counties) totaled 87 sales, a 7.4 percent increase while the median price was down 4.2 percent to $115,000.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.64 percent in December 2018, a decrease from 4.90 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In December 2017 it averaged 3.95 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Metro Area, home sales (single-family and condominiums) in December 2018 totaled 6,865 homes sold, down 16.5 percent from December 2017 sales of 8,217 homes. Year-end 2018 home sales totaled 113,965, down 3.7 percent from 118,339 homes sold in the region in 2017.

The median price in December 2018 was $225,000 in the Chicago Metro Area, the same as December 2017. The year-end 2018 median price reached $242,500, up 3.2 percent from $235,000 in 2017.

“Once again consumer sentiment indices are pointing in different directions,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director emeritus of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “Clearly, the uncertainty in the market exacerbated by the partial government shutdown has generated some additional caution among potential home buyers. The outlook for the next three months suggests a continuation of this trend, dampening price increases in Illinois and Chicago.”

According to the data, twenty (20) Illinois counties reported sales gains for December 2018 over previous-year numbers, including Tazewell County, up 7.8 percent with 139 units sold; and Rock Island County, up 4.5 percent with 117 units sold. Fifty-three (53) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including McLean County, up 13.5 percent to $163,500; and Will County, up 9.8 percent to $224,000.

In the city of Chicago, home sales (single-family and condominiums) in December 2018 totaled 1,698 homes sold, down 17.5 percent from December 2017 sales of 2,058 homes. Year-end 2018 home sales totaled 27,438, down 4.4 percent from 28,691 homes sold in the region in 2017.

The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in December 2018 was $246,500, down 7.1 percent compared to December 2017 when it was $265,250. The year-end 2018 median price reached $290,000, up 1.8 percent from $285,000 in 2017.

“The current atmosphere presents some opportunities for both buyers and sellers, despite the historically slow time of year for the market,” said Tommy Choi, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and broker at Keller Williams Chicago – Lincoln Park. “With the December rate increase and the start of the government shutdown, consumers were more measured in their approach to buying a home – although the continued decline in market time illustrates that, despite these factors, when they found the right home, at the right price, they were willing to act quickly.”

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, 2019 for the period Dec. 1 through Dec. 31, 2018. The Chicago Metro Area, 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 50,000 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 Find the 2018 Annual Report on the Illinois Housing Market at