Illinois home prices show solid gains in July; sales decline

SPRINGFIELD - 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."

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.

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