Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in March 2013 totaled 10,992 homes sold, up from 9,679 in March 2012. Statewide sales have posted monthly year-over-year gains since July 2011.
The statewide median price in March was $135,000, up 3.6 percent from March 2012 when the median price was $130,250. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.
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"We are entering what is traditionally the busiest period of the year in the real estate market," said Michael D. Oldenettel, CRS, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS and Managing Broker/Owner with RE/MAX Results Plus in Jacksonville, Ill. "The decreasing time it takes to sell a home, coupled with shrinking inventories shows there is keen interest on the part of homebuyers who are rushing to lock in favorable interest rates and take advantage of low, but increasing prices."
The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 3.54 percent in March 2013, up from 3.49 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Last March it averaged 3.99 percent.
In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in March 2013 totaled 7,914 homes sold, up 18.1 percent from March 2012 sales of 6,703 homes.
The median price in March 2013 was $155,000 in the Chicago PMSA, up 2.0 percent from $151,950 in March 2012.
"The inventory in both the state and Chicago markets suggest that demand has begun to return to the housing market," noted Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois. "However, foreclosed properties are accounting for a sizeable portion of these sales. The good news is that foreclosed sales are outpacing new additions to the foreclosure inventory but at a cost of dampening median price increases."
Forty-four (44) of 102 Illinois counties reporting to IAR showed year-over-year home sales increases in March 2013. Thirty-four (34) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Woodford, up 60.6 percent to $211,950; St. Clair, up 30.6 percent to $117,500; Kendall, up 21.7 percent to $154,950; Will, up 13.0 percent to $170,000; and Peoria, up 1.8 percent to $119,100.
The city of Chicago saw a 13.8 percent year-over-year home sales increase in March 2013 with 1,894 sales, up from 1,664 in March 2012.
The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in March 2013 was $187,500 up 9.0 percent compared to March 2012 when it was $172,000. Chicago condo prices also saw strong gains for the month, posting a 9.3 percent jump to $235,000.
"It is an excellent time for sellers to move their homes quickly, if priced well in what's fast become a thriving market," said REALTOR Zeke Morris, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS and Operating Principal and Managing Broker, Keller Williams Realty, CCG. "The city's housing inventory in March was down 45 percent compared to the same time last year. Data tells us that buyers are taking advantage of this period when homes are still priced attractively and interest rates are low, concerned that it might not last. This creates an urgency among buyers that is promising for sellers ready to act."
Sales and price information is generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 31 participating Illinois REALTOR local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of April 7, 2013 for the period March 1 through March 31, 2013. 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.
The Illinois Association of REALTORS is a voluntary trade association whose 41,000 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 to safeguard and advance the interest of real property ownership.