Other perspectives on the housing news

The Illinois housing market is stronger now than a year ago. Despite the July home sales data and flurry of doomsday headlines, year-to-date home sales in Illinois remain solidly in positive territory, up 15.0 percent through July. And the statewide median sale price is holding steady (off just -0.9 percent from the same period last year).

In the nine-county Chicagoland region* sales are up 22.8 percent year-over-year from January through July. The median price remains down 5.1 percent year-to-date, largely due to the impact of distressed property sales sold at a discount.

Several areas of the state are seeing positive sales and median prices in the year-to-date tally including Jo Daviess, Lake, Jackson, Menard, Sangamon, St. Clair and Tazewell counties.

Here are some other perspectives on the housing market.

“I’m seeing a number of buyers ‘get back in the game’ after taking the summer off from house hunting,” says REALTOR® Kim Keefe of Re/Max Plaza in McHenry.

“If I didn’t do any more business the rest of the year, it’d already be better than last year,” said REALTOR® Mike Stodola of Koenig & Strey Real Living in Libertyville, quoted at the end of today’s Chicago Tribune story.

“I still believe our local real estate market is trying to improve, and the discussion of another recession and the nervousness on Wall Street is not contributing to positive consumer confidence,” writes Chip Wagner of A.L. Wagner Appraisal Group in Naperville on his blog. “As I have said many times over, we need the unemployment to get better and that will solve many of our real estate problems.”

Some local markets are faring better.

“I tend to go with the theory that all real estate is local, and not pay as much attention maybe as some do to the national trends because what happens down the street is a lot more important to us,” said REALTOR® Jeff Cross of Re/Max Classic in Carterville in a WSIL-TV news story. “Things like new schools and economic development tend to have a positive influence on local real estate trends.”

Springfield and Decatur, Ill., were among six bright spots noted in a Christian Science Monitor story. In an otherwise down market nationwide these markets are “where home values are rising and median prices are already well ahead of their peak during the housing bubble.”

Housing demand will come albeit slowly for now.

In Chicago Sun-Times columnist David Roeder’s condo story published today, one perspective offered by an industry expert is that “life will go on” even though sales are slower. “Singles graduate and move away from their parents. Couples marry, have children and start looking for a little more space and a new school district. All of that…will feed a demand for homes, from studio condos to move-up Georgians in the suburbs.”

* The nine-county Chicagland region in this report includes Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.

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