About Stephanie Sievers

Stephanie Sievers is Senior Editor for the Illinois REALTORS®.

Strong buyer demand, lower inventory push Illinois home prices higher in September

September 2017 Housing InfographicHomes sold quickly and at higher median prices in September, even as statewide home sales dipped slightly amid lower than normal housing inventory levels, according to Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in September 2017 totaled 13,657 homes sold, down 4.0 percent from 14,223 in September 2016.

The statewide median price in September was $192,500, up 6.9 percent from September 2016, when the median price was $180,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“Sellers are definitely reaping the benefits of a market which in many areas continues to be dogged by tight inventories,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Matt Difanis, ABR, CIPS, GRI of Mahomet, co-owner of RE/MAX Realty Associates in Champaign. “Although the summer selling season is drawing to a close, interest on the part of many buyers does not seem to be waning as evidenced by the short time on average it is taking to complete a purchase.”

The time it took to sell a home in September averaged 51 days, down from 58 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 60,669 homes for sale, a 10.5 percent decline from September 2016 when there were 67,796 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.81 percent in September 2017, a decrease from 3.88 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In September 2016, it averaged 3.46 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in September 2017 totaled 9,634 homes sold, down 4.6 percent from September 2016 sales of 10,095 homes. The median price in September 2017 was $230,000 in the Chicago PMSA, an increase of 5.7 percent from $217,500 in September 2016.

“Housing inventory continues to dampen sales,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “This problem is reflected in the significant increases in the sales prices of foreclosed properties, increasing by over 15 percent compared to 5 percent for regular sales.”

According to the data, thirty (30) Illinois counties reported sales gains for September 2017 over previous-year numbers, including Kendall County, up 11.4 percent with 245 units sold; Peoria County, up 7.3 percent with 221 units sold; Sangamon County, up 3.9 percent with 267 units sold; and Champaign County, up 3.2 percent with 196 units sold. Sixty-three (63) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Rock Island County, up 22.4 percent to $112,000; DuPage County, up 10.0 percent to $265,000; and Cook County, up 6.3 percent to $238,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 3.7 percent year-over-year home sales decline in September 2017 with 2,309 sales, down from 2,398 in September 2016. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in September 2017 was $275,000, up 5.8 percent compared to September 2016 when it was $260,000.

“Although the market has slowed somewhat from peak summer activity, it continues to push forward, with decreases in overall inventory and market time reflecting continued interest in investing in a home,” said Rebecca Thomson, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and Vice President of Agent Development at @properties. “Moving into the colder months, pricing properties correctly will continue to be the key to capturing serious buyer attention, and quick decision making and flexibility will gain greater importance as inventory declines.”

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 Oct. 7, 2017 for the period Sept. 1 through Sept. 30, 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 47,000 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.

August brings higher Illinois home prices, lower sales amid tight inventory

The summer’s competitive housing market extended through August with lower seasonal inventory driving home prices higher, but tempering total home sales, according to Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in August 2017 totaled 16,196 homes sold, down 3.4 percent from 16,771 in August 2016.

The statewide median price in August was $200,456, up 5.0 percent from August 2016, when the median price was $191,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“The summer selling season was marked by high demand and lower-than-ideal inventories, said Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter, ABR, AHWD, GRI, SFR of Mokena, managing broker of Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group in Orland Hills. “The data show homes are selling at a lightning-fast pace, which speaks to how quickly consumers are prepared to move to get the home they want.”

The time it took to sell a home in August averaged 48 days, down from 55 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 60,462 homes for sale, an 11.4 percent decline from August 2016 when there were 68,240 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.88 percent in August 2017, a decrease from 3.97 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In August 2016, it averaged 3.44 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in August 2017 totaled 11,660 homes sold, down 3.9 percent from August 2016 sales of 12,139 homes. The median price in August 2017 was $239,900 in the Chicago PMSA, an increase of 4.3 percent from $230,000 in August 2016.

“The uncertainty in the Illinois economy over the last two years has contributed to a dampening of housing demand in contrast to the generally positive outlook in the rest of the country,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.  “At the same time, declines in inventory are still exerting upward pressure on housing prices and thus reducing affordability.”

According to the data, forty-two (42) Illinois counties reported sales gains for August 2017 over previous-year numbers, including LaSalle County, up 26.5 percent with 148 units sold; Will County, up 5.5 percent with 1,149 units sold; and Sangamon County, up 4.4 percent with 286 units sold. Fifty-two (52) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Peoria County, up 12.6 percent to $128,000; Lake County, up 11.8 percent to $255,000; and Kane County, up 10.2 percent to $234,950.

The city of Chicago saw a 4.5 percent year-over-year home sales decline in August 2017 with 2,716 sales, down from 2,844 in August 2016. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in August 2017 was $285,000, up 5.2 percent compared to August 2016 when it was $271,000.

“With the improvement in the economy, people decided to enjoy their summer and the disposable income in their pockets,” said Matt Silver, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and partner at Urban Real Estate. “While this contributed to a slight slowdown in year-over-year sales, the market is on track and poised for a strong autumn; days on market continue to decline, and our year-to-date sales are higher than last year’s. Energy and attention is shifting to the housing market and the opportunities therein.”

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 Sept. 7, 2017 for the period Aug. 1 through Aug. 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 47,000 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.

IRRF, NAR aid available to Northern Illinois flood victims

Bigstock photo

Illinois REALTORS®, help us share the news that the Illinois REALTORS® Relief Foundation and the National Association of Realtors® Relief Foundation are still offering disaster relief assistance and aid to those affected by July’s severe flooding in Northern Illinois.

Funds are available to assist those living in Kane, Lake and McHenry counties who have been displaced or sustained property damage from record floods.

Please share with your clients and friends in this area. The deadline for flood victims to apply for IRRF funds is Oct. 1. To learn more about the relief assistance and to download applications, go to: www.IllinoisRealtors.org/IRRF.

Illinois home prices show solid gains in July; Sales decline

Illinois homes sold faster and for more money in July, but lower housing inventory drove year-over-year sales lower, according to Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in July 2017 totaled 15,677 homes sold, down 4.3 percent from 16,375 in July 2016.

The statewide median price in July was $210,000, up 5.8 percent from July 2016, when the median price was $198,500. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“For more than two years, Illinois’ housing market has seen decreases in the number of homes for sale on an annual basis,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter, ABR, AHWD, GRI, SFR of Mokena, managing broker of Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group in Orland Hills. “This chronic lack of inventory is making the market challenging for all buyers, but particularly for those looking to purchase a more modestly-priced home.”

The time it took to sell a home in July averaged 47 days, down from 53 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 60,541 homes for sale, a 12.6 percent decline from July 2016 when there were 69,262 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.97 percent in July 2017, an increase from 3.90 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In July 2016, it averaged 3.44 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in July 2017 totaled 11,322 homes sold, down 4.9 percent from July 2016 sales of 11,905 homes. The median price in July 2017 was $248,000 in the Chicago PMSA, an increase of 4.4 percent from $237,500 in July 2016.

“The concerns this month center on the continuing low inventory rates and the potential dampening of demand caused by real income growth failing to keep pace with rising house prices” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the University of Illinois. “Housing affordability is once again becoming a concern, especially for those seeking to enter the housing market.”

According to the data, thirty-four (34) Illinois counties reported sales gains for July 2017 over previous-year numbers, including DeKalb County, up 19.0 percent with 150 units sold; St. Clair County, up 14.4 percent with 334 units sold; and Sangamon County, up 1.4 percent with 280 units sold.  Fifty-three (53) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Madison County, up 11.9 percent to $143,750; Lake County, up 6.9 percent to $254,990; and Cook County, up 4.0 percent to $258,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 5.7 percent year-over-year home sales decline in July 2017 with 2,621 sales, down from 2,780 in July 2016. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in July 2017 was $301,000, up 3.8 percent compared to July 2016 when it was $290,000.

“We’re in a market where even the first-time homebuyers are sophisticated and educated, and they are willing to seek out the most appropriate home for their financial situation, rather than make a rash or imprudent decision,” said Matt Silver, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and partner at Urban Real Estate. “Our continued decline in the days on the market until a sale reflects the fact that properties priced appropriately are selling rapidly. In Chicago, inventory isn’t as restricted in certain price ranges; there continues to be plenty of opportunity at different price points, particularly for move-up buyers.”

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 Aug. 7, 2017 for the period July 1 through July 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 47,000 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: Boost your home’s curb appeal with one of these trees

Bigstock image of house with a magnolia tree

A tree can make your front yard shine, but how do find one that not only looks good, but is also low maintenance? In the article, “Best Trees to Grow Curb Appeal,” HouseLogic.com offers nine trees that are worth considering. A few of the options: magnolia, red oak, blue spruce and sugar maple.

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