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IL Median Prices Rise at a Slower Pace in August; Home Sales Decline


Illinois home sales slowed slightly in August as lower inventory continued to affect the market and consumers began to shift their attention to the start of a new school year, according to Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in August totaled 16,453 homes sold, down 0.2 percent from 16,488 in August 2017.

The statewide median price in August was $202,150, up 1.1 percent from August 2017, when the median price was $200,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“Home sales were tempered by a continuing inventory shrinkage in many of the state’s markets,” said Matt Difanis, ABR, CIPS, GRI, president of Illinois REALTORS® and broker-owner of RE/MAX Realty Associates in Champaign. “As we come out of the warm weather selling season, it’s clear that we are looking at a market that still provides ample opportunity for sellers who are benefitting from relentless increases in median prices.”

The time it took to sell a home in August averaged 45 days, down from 48 days a year ago. Available inventory totaled 60,284 homes for sale, a 4.6 percent decline from 63,161 homes in August 2017.

According to the data, home sales in the Bloomington MSA (McLean and Dewitt counties) totaled 333 units, a 22.9 percent increase while the median price was up 1.5 percent to $165,000; in the Carbondale-Marion MSA (Jackson and Williamson counties) sales were up 19.8 percent to 139 units sold and the median price climbed 5.0 percent to $115,000; and in the Rockford MSA (Boone and Winnebago counties) sales were up 11.4 percent to 537 units sold and the median price climbed 7.6 percent to $128,000 .

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.55 percent in August, an increase from 4.53 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In August 2017, it averaged 3.88 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Metro Area, home sales (single-family and condominiums) in August totaled 11,545 homes sold, down 2.8 percent from August 2017 sales of 11,880 homes. The median price in August was $244,000 in the Chicago Metro Area, an increase of 2.1 percent from $239,000 in August 2017.

“Both sales and price growth slowed in the last few months and the forecasts for the next three months suggest modest growth on an annual basis,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “The two consumer sentiment indices (Conference Board and University of Michigan) pointed in different directions suggesting some uncertainty in the direction of the economy in the near term. However, the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index did increase for the first time since May.”

According to the data, fifty-one (51) Illinois counties reported sales gains for August over previous-year numbers, including Peoria County, up 23.1 percent with 277 units sold; and McLean County, up 21.3 percent with 302 units sold. Forty-nine (49) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Winnebago County, up 7.8 percent to $121,250; Madison County, up 5.2 percent to $136,750; and DuPage County, up 4.6 percent to $282,500.

The city of Chicago saw year-over-year home sales decrease 5.1 percent with 2,649 sales in August, compared to 2,791 a year ago. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in August was $285,000 up 0.4 percent compared to August 2017 when it was $284,000.

“While average market time in August held steady, it will likely tick up in the coming months, as typically, the drop in temperature mirrors a slowdown in the pace of the market,” said Rebecca Thomson, 2018 president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and principal of Thomson Real Estate Group. “Buyers grappling with the inventory shortage have enjoyed prices holding steady and, coupled with interest rates, continue to see prime opportunities in the market.”

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 Sept. 7, 2018 for the period Aug. 1 through Aug. 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 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.

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