About Stephanie Sievers

Stephanie Sievers is Senior Editor for the Illinois REALTORS®.

Morning Minute: U.S. pending home sales dip in May

Image: Bigstock

Low inventory is being blamed for the third consecutive month of lower pending home sales, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

The Pending Home Sales Index fell 0.8 percent in May compared to April and was down 1.7 percent compared to a year ago.

In today’s news release NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said supply shortages are negatively impacting the housing market. Read more and watch a new video from NAR.

“Monthly closings have recently been oscillating back and forth, but this third consecutive decline in contract activity implies a possible topping off in sales,” Yun said. “Buyer interest is solid, but there is just not enough supply to satisfy demand. Prospective buyers are being sidelined by both limited choices and home prices that are climbing too fast.”

In other headlines:

House-Hunting Secrets for New Parents, Empty Nesters, Job Seekers, and Others – Realtor.com

Will the Hispanic Homeownership Gap Persist? – Freddie Mac

Morning Minute: More homeowners believe now is a good time to sell, NAR reports

Image: Bigstock

Seventy-one percent of homeowners believe that now is a good time to sell their home, up from 69 percent earlier this year, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ (NAR) quarterly Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Survey. On the flip side, consumers are less confident about the economy and their financial situations now. Read more from NAR.

In other headlines:

Growth of Property Values – NAR’s Economists’ Outlook

Freedoms of Homeownership – Freddie Mac

Morning Minute: Low mortgage rates hold steady this week

Homebuyers are finding that year-to-date low mortgage rates are continuing to hold steady, Freddie Mac reported this week. A 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.90 percent and the 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.17 percent this week. Read more from Freddie Mac.

In other headlines:

New-Home Sales Rise in May as Prices Hit Record Level – Wall Street Journal

Realtors® Highlight Flood Insurance Concerns as House Committee Finalizes Key Markup – National Association of REALTORS®

Illinois housing market makes gains in May with higher home sales and prices

Statewide home sales picked up in May and properties sold quickly even as median prices tracked higher than a year ago, according to Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in May 2017 totaled 17,077 homes sold, up 3.8 percent from 16,450 in May 2016.

The statewide median price in May was $209,000, up 8.3 percent from May 2016, when the median price was $193,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“Buyers are running headlong into a tight market, with nearly 10,000 fewer homes on the market statewide than there were in May 2016,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter, ABR, AHWD, GRI, SFR of Mokena, managing broker of Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group in Orland Hills. “Rising prices show sellers are being rewarded for listing in a market that in many areas has been marked by multiple offer situations.”

The time it took to sell a home in May averaged 52 days, down from 59 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 56,535 homes for sale, a 14.9 percent decline from May 2016 when there were 66,424 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.01 percent in May 2017, a decrease from 4.05 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In May 2016 it averaged 3.60 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in May 2017 totaled 12,491 homes sold, up 5.1 percent from May 2016 sales of 11,884 homes. The median price in May 2017 was $246,900 in the Chicago PMSA, an increase of 5.6 percent from $233,900 in May 2016.

“The market appears to be in a “wait and see” mode in both Illinois and Chicago” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.  “The state’s economy has stuttered and the fiscal cloud hanging over the state has seen enhanced net out-migration that has contributed to a dampening of demand.”

According to the data, fifty-four (54) Illinois counties reported sales gains for May 2017 over previous-year numbers, including LaSalle County, up 23.8 percent with 125 units sold; Kendall County, up 13.6 percent with 318 units sold; Will County, up 8.8 percent with 1,131 units sold; and Sangamon County, up 3.3 percent with 311 units sold.  Fifty-three (53) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including DuPage County, up 8.9 percent to $280,000; Tazewell County, up 8.0 percent to $135,000; and Cook County, up 5.3 percent to $258,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 0.2 percent year-over-year home sales decline in May 2017 with 2,973 sales, down from 2,980 in May 2016. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in May 2017 was $306,750, up 5.5 percent compared to May 2016 when it was $290,750.
“We’re in an interesting, sophisticated market at present, wherein inventory is restricting what’s available for those who are looking to buy,” said Matt Silver, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and partner at Urban Real Estate. “Sellers are having to price their properties appropriately, as educated buyers are prepared to be flexible on their wants and needs in a new home or wait for the perfect home to come on the market and pay accordingly.”

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 June 7, 2017 for the period May 1 through May 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.

Illinois REALTORS® advocacy provides recap of recent efforts and successes

(l to r) Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Julie Sullivan, Member Involvement Group Chair Ginger Sreenan, Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs Greg St. Aubin, and Jeff Baker and Jim Morphew with Sorling Northrup Attorneys

Despite the ongoing lack of a state budget or much political consensus, Illinois REALTORS® and their lobbying efforts can be counted on to fight for the perennial, core issues that are important to the industry and private property owners.

“We’ve still got our 50 or 60 key bills that we’re lobbying year in and year out,” said Illinois REALTORS® Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs Greg St. Aubin. “It would be nice if we could fix the big picture issues, but that’s not primarily what we do.”

During the Public Policy and Governmental Affairs Member Involvement Group meeting at this week’s Illinois REALTORS® Business Meetings, the association’s state and local lobbying teams recapped their recent legislative and advocacy efforts.

Some of the highlights included:

  • Successfully opposed Home Rule pushes in several Illinois communities
  • Worked with legislators to improve legislation to eliminate REALTOR® concerns
  • Lobbied against bills and measures that would be detrimental (such as fire sprinkler mandates, changing existing rent control measures and more).