Illinois home sales, prices head higher in January

The start of a new year brought renewed interest from homebuyers who drove home sales and the statewide median price higher in January, according to Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in January 2017 totaled 8,502 homes sold, up 1.2 percent from 8,404 in January 2016.

The statewide median price in January was $172,000, up 5.5 percent from January 2016 when the median price was $163,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“The bitter winter weather everyone anticipates in January never really materialized, and as a result it looks as if plenty of buyers were out looking for homes,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter, ABR, AHWD, GRI, SFR of Mokena, managing broker of Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell in Orland Hills. “Because inventories are still so tight, January was seen by many as a good opportunity to get out in advance of the busier spring selling season.”

The time it took to sell a home in January averaged 69 days, down from 79 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 49,724 homes for sale, a 15.5 percent decline from January 2016 when there were 58,830 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.15 percent in January 2017, a decrease from 4.20 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In January 2016 it averaged 3.87 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in January 2017 totaled 6,159 homes sold, up 0.6 percent from January 2016 sales of 6,125 homes. The median price in January 2017 was $210,000 in the Chicago PMSA, an increase of 10.5 percent from $190,000 in January 2016.

“Illinois median prices have already recovered to the pre-bubble levels while those in the Chicago PMSA are very close,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “Forecasts for median prices and the REAL Housing Price Indices (REAL HPI) also indicate moderate annual growth for both Illinois and the Chicago PMSA with a slightly stronger growth forecast by the REAL HPI for the next three months.”

According to the data, forty-three (43) Illinois counties reported sales gains for January 2017 over previous-year numbers, including Winnebago County, up 16.6 percent with 218 units sold; St. Clair County, up 15.4 percent with 165 units sold; and Cook County, up 4.1 percent with 3,493 units sold. Forty-nine (49) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Lake County, up 15.4 percent to $225,000; Peoria County, up 14.0 percent to $112,900; and DuPage County, up 8.2 percent to $250,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 9.3 percent year-over-year home sales increase in January 2017 with 1,528 sales, up from 1,398 in January 2016. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in January 2017 was $256,000, up 12.4 percent compared to January 2016 when it was $227,750.

“We came out of the gates blazing, with greater activity this January than in years past, as consumers emerged from the holidays educated, prepared and ready to make decisions,” said Matt Silver, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and partner at Urban Real Estate. “Our year-over-year numbers continue to demonstrate the strength of the Chicago market, as properties are being snatched up at a pace rarely seen, with higher prices across the board and rising interest rates – trends that will continue (barring ongoing inventory concerns) into the active spring season.”

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 Feb 7, 2017 for the period Jan.1 through Jan. 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 www.illinoisrealtors.org/marketstats.

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