About Stephanie Sievers

Stephanie Sievers is Senior Editor for the Illinois REALTORS®.

Photo highlights from 2017 Illinois REALTORS® Lobby Day

REALTORS® Tonya Corder, Chris Read and Piero Orsi at Capitol Conference.

Thanks to the hundreds of Illinois REALTORS® who traveled to Springfield today to for the 2017 Illinois REALTORS® Capitol Conference “REALTOR® Lobby Day.” You make a real difference on the issues important to Illinois homeowners and the real estate industry. See a photo gallery of the day’s highlights. #PowerofR #ILRealtorLobbyDay

Neaves named treasurer-nominee for Illinois REALTORS®

Ed Neaves

Ed Neaves, president of the Bloomington-Normal Association of REALTORS® and an Illinois REALTORS® board member, has been named 2018 treasurer-nominee for the state association.

An Illinois REALTORS® Board of Directors vote is expected to formally place Neaves on the leadership ladder later this year. Neave’s selection by the association’s Nominating Committee was announced Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

Neaves is the managing broker of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder Real Estate in Bloomington and is committed to fostering grassroots involvement and political advocacy in the REALTOR® community at the local, state and national level.

Neaves has served on a variety of Illinois REALTORS® committees and working groups, with a particular emphasis on political advocacy. He chairs the Federal Political Coordinators Working Group. He was honored with the 2015 Illinois REALTORS® Political Involvement Award for outstanding political and legislative service to the REALTOR® organization.

He is a major investor in the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) and will be inducted into the RPAC Hall of Fame in May. He is the Federal Political Coordinator for U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Channahon) and is the State Legislative Contact for Illinois Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington).

Once the nominating committee’s selection is sanctioned by the association’s board of directors, Neaves will join other Illinois REALTOR® leaders in 2018, including Matt Difanis, who will become president; Dan Wagner, who will become president-elect and Doug Carpenter, who will be immediate past president.

Illinois REALTORS® kick off 2017 Capitol Conference in Springfield

Illinois REALTORS® get ready for their annual lobby day in Springfield.

The buses are arriving and more than 750 Illinois REALTORS® will be in Springfield today for the annual Capitol Conference and “REALTOR® Lobby Day.” This year’s event is drawing a record crowd of REALTORS® from around the state.

REALTORS® are leading advocates for private property rights and the real estate industry and they are bringing that message to the halls of the state Capitol. They will lobby legislators on the legislative and regulatory issues that affect Illinois homeowners, commercial real estate and real estate professionals.

Some of the issues on the association’s 2017 legislative agenda include: opposition to a bill that would repeal a 20-year-old law that prohibits local governments from imposing rent control measures; support for a bill that would create a voluntary financing mechanism for commercial, industrial and multi-family building clean energy projects; and support for an initiative updating real estate license law to make education course offerings and testing more efficient.

Learn more by downloading the 2017 Capitol Conference Legislative Issues Talking Points. #PowerofR #ILRealtorLobbyDay

Illinois housing market swings into spring with jump in home sales, prices

The Illinois housing market had a strong showing in March with home sales climbing 9.6 percent over previous-year levels and the statewide median price surging 10.7 percent higher,according to Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in March 2017 totaled 13,274 homes sold, up 9.6 percent from 12,116 in March 2016.

The statewide median price in March was $189,900, up 10.7 percent from March 2016, when the median price was $171,500. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“Consumers this spring have no choice but to be nimble as they find fewer homes on the market and increased competition for those homes,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter, ABR, AHWD, GRI, SFR of Mokena, managing broker of Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell in Orland Hills. “Many of the REALTORS® I talk to are reporting an increase in multiple offer situations, which means buyers can’t dawdle when they find what they want and they may want to make sure any offer they bring is an aggressive one.”

The time it took to sell a home in March averaged 67 days, down from 77 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 52,826 homes for sale, a 15.5 percent decline from March 2016 when there were 62,492 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.20 percent in March 2017, an increase from 4.17 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In March 2016 it averaged 3.70 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in March 2017 totaled 9,661 homes sold, up 13.1 percent from March 2016 sales of 8,540 homes. The median price in March 2017 was $231,000 in the Chicago PMSA, an increase of 10.0 percent from $210,000 in March 2016.

“In inflation adjusted terms, both the Illinois and Chicago housing markets have recovered to their pre-recession levels,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the University of Illinois. “The consumer indices still reflect a positive outlook on the economy although the Home Purchase Sentiment Index declined, reflecting some elevated concerns about job security.”

According to the data, fifty-two (52) Illinois counties reported sales gains for March 2017 over previous-year numbers, including McHenry County, up 31.1 percent with 468 units sold; Cook County, up 9.9 percent with 5,255 units sold; and Sangamon County, up 8.5 percent with 230 units sold. Fifty-six (56) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including St. Clair County, up 17.3 percent to $138,450; DuPage County, up 10.2 percent to $270,000; and McLean County, up 7.3 percent to $166,250.

The city of Chicago saw a 15.3 percent year-over-year home sales increase in March 2017 with 2,478 sales, up from 2,149 in March 2016. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in March 2017 was $295,000, up 9.7 percent compared to March 2016 when it was $269,000.

“Home sales were stronger than usual throughout historically slower months, and now, with the spring market in full swing, the numbers are proving to be more robust than anticipated,” said Matt Silver, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and partner at Urban Real Estate. “As the economy improves, demand continues to grow, and while inventory shortages will possibly play a larger role, for now, we are seeing strong and favorable selling conditions, and those who are looking to buy a home should be prepared to move quickly and decisively.”

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 April 7, 2017 for the period March 1 through March 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.

Morning Minute: Freddie Mac weighs in on why housing inventory is low

Image: Bigstock

As buyers head into the spring home buying season, they are finding that available inventories remain historically low.

In its April market outlook, Freddie Mac offers two ideas on why more sellers might not be listing their homes right now.

  • First, some sellers may be hesitant to list their home because the tight inventory could make it harder for them to find their own move-up property.
  • And homeowners who purchased a home or refinanced when mortgage rates were at record lows may be reluctant to buy again at higher rates. Read more from Freddie Mac.

“Tight housing inventory has been an important feature of the housing market at least since 2016. For-sale housing inventory, especially of starter homes, is currently at its lowest level in over ten years. If inventory continues to remain tight, home sales will likely decline from their 2016 levels. As we enter the spring home buying season, all eyes are on housing inventory and whether or not it will meet the high demand,” said Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti.

In other headlines:

Three secrets to winning more listings – Inman

Measuring your ability to achieve the American Dream – Keeping Current Matters