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Illinois housing market swings into spring with jump in home sales & prices

Illinois Housing Market

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois housing market had a strong showing in March with home sales climbing 9.6 percent over previous-year levels and the statewide median price  surging 10.7 percent higher,according to Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in March 2017 totaled 13,274 homes sold, up 9.6 percent from 12,116 in March 2016.

The statewide median price in March was $189,900, up 10.7 percent from March 2016, when the median price was $171,500. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“Consumers this spring have no choice but to be nimble as they find fewer homes on the market and increased competition for those homes,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter, ABR, AHWD, GRI, SFR of Mokena, managing broker of Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell in Orland Hills. “Many of the REALTORS® I talk to are reporting an increase in multiple offer situations, which means buyers can’t dawdle when they find what they want and they may want to make sure any offer they bring is an aggressive one.”

The time it took to sell a home in March averaged 67 days, down from 77 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 52,826 homes for sale, a 15.5 percent decline from March 2016 when there were 62,492 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.20 percent in March 2017, an increase from 4.17 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In March 2016 it averaged 3.70 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in March 2017 totaled 9,661 homes sold, up 13.1 percent from March 2016 sales of 8,540 homes. The median price in March 2017 was $231,000 in the Chicago PMSA, an increase of 10.0 percent from $210,000 in March 2016.

“In inflation adjusted terms, both the Illinois and Chicago housing markets have recovered to their pre-recession levels,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the University of Illinois. “The consumer indices still reflect a positive outlook on the economy although the Home Purchase Sentiment Index declined, reflecting some elevated concerns about job security.”

According to the data, fifty-two (52) Illinois counties reported sales gains for March 2017 over previous-year numbers, including McHenry County, up 31.1 percent with 468 units sold; Cook County, up 9.9 percent with 5,255 units sold; and Sangamon County, up 8.5 percent with 230 units sold. Fifty-six (56) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including St. Clair County, up 17.3 percent to $138,450; DuPage County, up 10.2 percent to $270,000; and McLean County, up 7.3 percent to $166,250.

The city of Chicago saw a 15.3 percent year-over-year home sales increase in March 2017 with 2,478 sales, up from 2,149 in March 2016. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in March 2017 was $295,000, up 9.7 percent compared to March 2016 when it was $269,000.

“Home sales were stronger than usual throughout historically slower months, and now, with the spring market in full swing, the numbers are proving to be more robust than anticipated,” said Matt Silver, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and partner at Urban Real Estate. “As the economy improves, demand continues to grow, and while inventory shortages will possibly play a larger role, for now, we are seeing strong and favorable selling conditions, and those who are looking to buy a home should be prepared to move quickly and decisively.”

Sales and price information are 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 April 7, 2017 for the period March 1 through March 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 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.

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