Existing home sales in the area spiked 19.2 percent in July compared to a year ago, the Illinois Association of Realtors reported Thursday.
In the nine-county Chicagoland area, 6,625 single family homes and condominiums were sold during the month, at a median price of $182,500. This price is down 5.4 percent compared to last year in July when it was $193,000.
During July, the monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the north central region was 4.59 percent, up from 4.53 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Last year in July the rate averaged 4.58 percent.
"The market, like the economy, continues to struggle even though interest rates and prices would appear to suggest favorable conditions for housing purchases," said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois. "It would seem that until the economy signals a clear rebound-with sustained employment growth of the order of 200,000 jobs added per month-can we expect to see a sustained uptick in housing sales and some modest recovery in prices. Since April, the unemployment rate has not shown any definitive movement."
In addition, more than 60 percent of Illinois counties reported year-over-year sales increases in July, including Cook, up 9.5 percent to 3,598 sales; DuPage, up 41.6 percent to 813 sales; Kane, up 25.5 percent to 502 sales; Lake, up 35.7 percent to 643 sales; Will, up 22.1 percent to 535 sales.
"This is the first month, year-over-year, where we are without a federal tax credit and are encouraged by July's sales, hopefully a positive outlook for the remainder of 2011," said Mabel Guzman, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors.
The Illinois Association of Realtors is a voluntary trade association whose 44,000 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. In addition to serving the professional needs of its members, the Illinois Association of Realtors works to protect the rights of private property owners in the state by recommending and promoting legislation that safeguards and advances the interest of real property ownership.