Attention Chicago-area REALTORS®: October luncheon offers financing information that could help your clients!

Space is limited so make your reservation now for the free Oct. 11 lunch program titled, “Increase Your Business: How to create opportunities out of potential challenges facing the real estate industry today.”

Special guests will include Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, Freddie Mac representatives and Chase Bank representatives as they discuss affordable mortgage products, including an alternative to loans offered by the Federal Housing Authority (FHA). The event, which is sponsored by the Dearborn Realtist Board, will be held at the Crown Plaza Hotel, 733 W. Madison St., Chicago.

Doors open at 11 a.m. and the event is scheduled to end by 2 p.m. Tracey B. Williams, ABR, Secretary for Dearborn Realtists, says the organization is excited to share the information with fellow real estate professionals and hopes they find it valuable, too.

“As the real estate industry continues to recover from the real estate collapse, potential homebuyers remain challenged with finding opportunities for affordable housing,” says Williams. “The FHA loan product has made home ownership possible for many; yet the FHA loan often comes with additional cost. I am certain that potential homebuyers and industry professionals would like to know that FHA is not the only option for affordable financing.”

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

Joliet REALTORS® and affiliates partner to promote homeownership


Nearly 50 housing-oriented organizations came together on Saturday, Sept. 9 to laud the benefits of homeownership at the Second Annual Joliet Housing Expo in Joliet.

Real estate professionals, mortgage lenders, attorneys, title company representatives, insurance company representatives and home inspectors were on hand to answer questions and provide expertise on the home buying process. Additionally, representatives from the Joliet Public Library District, Rialto Square Theater, Will County Forest Preserve, City of Joliet and the YMCA attended to promote Joliet’s quality of life.

The Housing Expo was sponsored by the Three Rivers Association of REALTORS® through a National Association of REALTORS® Housing Opportunity Grant. The First Midwest Bank and Neighborhood Loans sponsored a portion of the marketing materials. Approximately 100 attendees learned about Joliet’s Down Payment Assistance Program and other homeownership incentives during a presentation from First Midwest.

Also attending and supporting the event were city officials, including Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, City Councilman Mike Turk and City Councilman Don “Duck” Dickinson.

Watch for Illinois REALTORS® August housing report tomorrow

Geoffrey J.D. Hewings

Wednesday morning, Illinois REALTORS® will release its August 2017 housing report, with data breakdowns for the state of Illinois, city of Chicago and the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA). Also included will be a housing market forecast by Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.

Members of the statewide association can access member-only market statistics by using their passwords.

Watch for Illinois REALTORS® July housing report tomorrow

Geoffrey J.D. Hewings

Thursday morning, Illinois REALTORS® will release its July 2017 housing report, with data breakdowns for the state of Illinois, city of Chicago and the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA). Also included will be a housing market forecast by Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.

Members of the statewide association can access member-only market statistics by using their passwords.