FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  July 22, 2011

Contact:
Mary Schaefer/Ann Londrigan
217-529-2600

Illinois Home Sales Follow Seasonal Pattern through June

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — According to the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) latest report, statewide home sales (including single family and condominiums) in June 2011 totaled 11,003 homes sold, up 12.7 percent from 9,761 sales in May 2011; sales were down 16.3 percent from 13,144 homes sold in June 2010.

The statewide median price in June was $150,000, up 7.1 percent from $140,000 in May 2011 and down 11.7 percent from last year in June when it was $169,900. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

“The housing market has seemed poised for some modest rebound for a number of months—foreclosure activity is down, interest rates are very low and the variety of properties for sale is extensive—yet the economy appears unable to mount a sustained recovery and this has dampened consumers’ confidence,” said Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois. “Consumers are also unimpressed by the ability of the federal government to come to agreement on the deficit and raising the debt ceiling, diverting attention from the major issue of regenerating the U.S. economy.”

Adds Hewings: “The forecasts indicate that the housing market will reach its 2011 annual peak in July. Comparing the housing market in 2011 with 2010, the sales volume in the third quarter of 2011 is expected to surpass the third quarter of 2010 by 30 percent. This means the effect of the homebuyer tax credit will finally fade out in Illinois starting July 2011; some of the increase in the annual sales can be attributed to the significant decline that took place in 2010 when the effect of the withdrawal of the housing credit resulted in a sharp drop in housing sales for several months in a row.”

In the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single family and condominiums) totaled 7,481 homes sold, up 13.2 percent from the previous month of 6,608 sales in May 2011 and down 17.7 percent from June 2010 sales of 9,085 homes. The median price in June 2011 was $180,000 in the nine-county Chicago region, up 5.9 percent from $169,900 in May 2011 and down 13.3 percent compared to last year in June when it was $207,500.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 4.53 percent in June 2011, lower than 4.67 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Last year in June it averaged 4.74 percent.

“The Illinois housing market was building momentum in late spring and through June and it’s encouraging to see this regular pattern as well as sales at levels higher than the past 11 months driven by high affordability conditions and pent-up demand,” said REALTOR® Sheryl Grider Whitehurst, ABR, CRB, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and the Development and Operations Coordinator for Traders Realty in Peoria. “Challenges remain for the return to a normalized market and top among them relate directly to the economy, excessively tight lending requirements and a spike in contract cancellations.”

Adds Grider: “According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2011 National Housing Pulse survey 82 percent of respondents said not having enough money for the down payment and closing costs are among the chief obstacles for buying a home, followed by job security. The survey also found that two-thirds of Americans oppose eliminating the mortgage interest tax deduction (MID). These are two of the top issues REALTORS® are addressing in Congress.”

In the city of Chicago, June home sales (single family and condominiums) totaled 1,841, up 8.0 percent from 1,705 sales in the previous month and down 27.1 percent from 2,526 homes sold in June 2010.

The city of Chicago year-over-year median price for single family and condominiums in June 2011 was $207,000 down 11.6 percent compared to $234,250 in June 2010; it was up 8.9 percent compared to the previous month of May 2011 when it was $190,000.

"In the city of Chicago, single family homes have made positive gains in pricing due to the competitive atmosphere created by compelling pricing on distressed assets short sales and foreclosures," said Mabel Guzman, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and a REALTOR® with Envision Real Estate LLC, Chicago. "We are seeing multiple offers on location-specific properties. Chicago condos continue to outpace single family by 30 percent for the second month evident not only in units, also in downward price movement. In the coming months, we will be observing the economic pressures which will likely lead to an increase in distressed assets to the market."

Sales and price information is generated from a survey of Multiple Listing Service sales reported by 33 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of July 7 reported for the period June 1 through June 30, 2011. The Chicagoland 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 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.

Find Illinois housing stats data and the University of Illinois REAL forecast at www.illinoisrealtor.org/marketstats.

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