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Market Update: Illinois home prices climb 4.3 percent in March; sales increase 1.9 percent

FOR RELEASE: April 20, 2016
Market Update, Illinois Association of Realtors

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The spring market is in swing with steady gains in March median prices and modest growth in statewide home sales even as the housing supply is low for the season, according to the Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in March 2016 totaled 11,900 homes sold, up 1.9 percent from 11,676 in March 2015.

The statewide median price in March was $172,000 up 4.3 percent from March 2015 when the median price was $164,950. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“Consumers this spring will be challenged to find just the right property from a diminished pool of homes to choose from,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Mike Drews. “Based on increasing median prices and average days on market, it’s clear if they do find the home of their dreams they are going to have to move quickly and be prepared in some instances to pay more in the face of heightened competition.”

The time it took to sell a home in March averaged 77 days, down from 85 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 58,613 homes for sale, a 12.3 percent decline from March 2015 when there were 66,852 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.70 percent in March 2016, up from 3.66 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In March 2015 it averaged 3.76 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single family and condominiums) in March 2016 totaled 8,386 homes sold, up 0.8 percent from March 2015 sales of 8,317 homes. The median price in March 2016 was $210,000 in the Chicago PMSA, up 4.0 percent from $202,000 in March 2015.

“March recorded the usual monthly surge in sales in both Chicago and Illinois,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “However, median prices did not change very much with the major source of growth in prices coming from increases in the prices of foreclosed properties. Consumer sentiment nationally seems to reflect some uncertainties about the direction of the economy, no doubt exacerbated by vagaries of the election cycle.”

According to the data, forty-six (46) Illinois counties reported sales gains for March 2016 over previous-year numbers, including Kendall County, up 38.2 percent with 210 units sold; Peoria County, up 15.9 percent with 204 units sold; Madison County, up 12.0 percent with 290 units sold; and Lake County, up 6.0 percent with 741 units sold. Fifty (50) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Winnebago County, up 33.2 percent to $99,900; Sangamon County, up 15.2 percent to $137,000; Will County, up 6.7 percent to $189,900, and Cook County, up 2.9 percent to $215,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 3.4 percent year-over-year home sales decrease in March 2016 with 2,099 sales, down from 2,173 in March 2015. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in March 2016 was $268,500, up 3.3 percent compared to March 2015 when it was $260,000.

“Intense buyer interest during the first months of the year further reduced the already low number of properties which were on the market,” said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and senior vice president for government relations at the Oakbrook-based Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc. “With more properties coming on the market as consumers embrace the spring selling season, we should see inventories better able to meet significant buyer demand. Homes are selling faster than they were last year, so consumers need to act quickly if they are interested in buying.”

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 April 7, 2016 for the period March 1 through March 31, 2016. 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.

Illinois REALTORS® is celebrating 100 years of ethics, advocacy and education this year and April 25 marks the day the association was officially founded in 1916.