Illinois median home prices up 8.3 percent from a year ago; Statewide home sales down 9.4 percent in May

— May Illinois home prices rose 8.3 percent and home sales decreased 9.4 percent compared to May 2013, while the trend continues of recent month-over-month sales gains, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in May 2014 totaled 13,947 homes sold, down from 15,388 in May 2013. May sales were 16.4 percent higher than April. While available inventory improved in May, it was still down 7.6 percent compared to a year earlier, dropping from 73,171 homes for sale in May 2013 to 67,619 this year.

The statewide median price in May was $167,900, up 8.3 percent from May 2013 when the median price was $155,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

"Buyers face a market where they have fewer properties from which to choose," said Phil Chiles, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and Broker-Associate with The Real Estate Group in Springfield. "In many cases sellers are finding they are getting more money for their properties, and that it is taking less time to sell them."

In keeping with consumer demand, the time it took to sell a home continued to drop year-over-year in May with listings averaging 76 days until sale statewide, a 7.3 percent decrease compared to 82 days in May 2013. In the Chicago PMSA, average days on market fell 14.5 percent to 59 days and decreased 7.4 percent to 50 days in the city of Chicago.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 4.18 percent in May 2014, down from 4.34 percent in April, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In May 2013 it averaged 3.55 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in May 2014 totaled 9,806 homes sold, down 12.2 percent from May 2013 sales of 11,171 homes. The median price in May 2014 was $207,000 in the Chicago PMSA, up 13.1 percent from $183,000 in May 2013. “The housing market continues to provide evidence of a return to more normal conditions,” noted Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois. “Sales continue to increase on a month-to-month basis although they have been unable to match the stellar gains of last year. The impact of foreclosures continues to decrease with the expectation that the numbers of foreclosed properties on the market will return to pre-recession levels sometime in the next 6-12 months. Homeownership rates for retiring Baby Boomers continue to increase providing some potential medium-term housing market growth opportunities.”

Thirty-nine (39) of 102 counties in Illinois showed annual home sales increases in May 2014. Fifty-two (52) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Boone, up 19.2 $135,000; DuPage, up 8.9 percent to $245,000; and Tazewell, up 4.4 percent to $136,750.

The city of Chicago saw a 15.7 percent year-over-year home sales decline in May 2014 with 2,390 sales, down from 2,834 in May 2013. The median price rose to $270,000 versus $235,000 in May 2013, an annual increase of 14.9 percent.

"Median home prices continue to rise as buyers in the spring market seek out their new home from the little inventory on the market, and make their best and strongest offer," said Matt Farrell, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and managing partner of Urban Real Estate.

"It truly is an ideal time for prospective sellers to evaluate if now is their right time to buy, and if so, to consider making their move. Buyers are being realistic about finding the home they might move into and upgrade later, and don’t expect to find their dream home immediately. They are looking for location, space, and the potential a property ultimately has,” Farrell added.

Sales and price information is generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 30 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of June 7, 2014 for the period May 1 through May 31, 2014. 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 41,000 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. Find Illinois housing stats, data and the University of Illinois REAL forecast at

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