FOR RELEASE: January 23, 2014

For Further Information Contact: Stephanie Sievers, 217-529-2600

Illinois home sales climb again in December;
2013 marks a strong year of housing recovery

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois home sales increased 7.9 percent over previous-year levels in December and median prices increased 13.7 percent, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in December 2013 totaled 11,279 homes sold, up from 10,454 in December 2012. Year-end 2013 home sales totaled 153,492, up 18.9 percent from 129,092 in 2012. 

The statewide median price in December was $149,000, up 13.7 percent from December 2012 when the median price was $131,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. Year-end 2013 median price reached $150,000, up 8.3 percent from $138,500 in 2012.

"Since January, Illinois has seen a steady stream of positive data which included strong year-over-year sales and median price growth," said Phil Chiles, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and Broker-Associate with The Real Estate Group in Springfield. "The numbers show that the housing market is a robust one heading into the new year, and consumer interest does not appear to be flagging even in the face of diminished inventories."

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 4.48 percent in December 2013, up from 4.27 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In December 2012 it averaged 3.32 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single family and condominiums) in December 2013 totaled 8,126 homes sold, up 8.1 percent from December 2012 sales of 7,515 homes. Year-end 2013 home sales totaled 111,427, up 23.0 percent from 90,608 homes sold in the region in 2012.

The median price in December 2013 was $177,000 in the Chicago PMSA, up 18.0 percent from $150,000 in December 2012. The year-end 2013 median price reached $177,500, up 10.9 percent from $160,000 in 2012.

“The year 2013 was a good one for the housing market and the prospects for the early part of 2014 appear equally positive,” noted Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois. “Foreclosures still appear to be having a dampening effect on prices (especially within the immediate vicinity of a foreclosed property) but there is every expectation that the levels of foreclosure might return to pre-recession levels within 12 months.”

Forty-seven (47) of 102 Illinois counties reporting to IAR showed year-over-year home sales increases in December 2013. Forty-four (44) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including St. Clair, up 49.9 percent to $119,900; Kendall, up 23.4 percent to $179,000; Kane, 23.2 percent to $175,000; DuPage, up 17.6 percent to $217,500; Cook, up 17.3 percent to $175,900; and Peoria, up 8.5 percent to $117,700.

The city of Chicago saw a 12.5 percent year-over-year home sales increase in December 2013 with 2,080 sales, up from 1,849 in December 2012. The year-end 2013 home sales totaled 27,155, up 21.2 percent from 22,397 home sales in 2012. 

The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in December 2013 was $210,000 up 13.5 percent compared to December 2012 when it was $185,000. The year-end 2013 median price reached $220,000, up 18.9 percent from $185,000 in 2012.

  “A surplus of pent-up buyers helped move the market in 2013,” said Matt Farrell, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and managing partner of Urban Real Estate. “Motivated sellers, paired with attractive interest rates and a sense of a more stable economic climate, helped close deals that might have otherwise not come to the table. The return of the jumbo loan allowed for move-up buyers to buy their next home as a delayed recovery can be in part attributed to the $417,000 federally-backed loan limit and no other jumbo loan options,” Farrell added.

  “This year will likely bring stabilization in housing prices.  Keys to keeping Chicago affordable and attainable to even the most credit-prepared buyers includes the necessity for our industry to continue to push for increased federally-backed loan limits, so that those trying to purchase in our city can do so without being priced out of their next home,” noted Farrell.

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 Jan. 7, 2014 for the period Dec. 1 through Dec. 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.

Find Illinois housing stats, data and the University of Illinois REAL forecast at www.illinoisrealtor.org/marketstats.        
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MEDIA ONLY: Economist Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings will be available for media interviews between 9 a.m. and noon CST on Jan. 23. 

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