FOR RELEASE: May 22, 2014

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

Illinois median home prices increase 7.6 percent in April, home
sales decrease 7.8 percent amid tight inventories

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Illinois home prices continued an upward trend with April marking 20 consecutive months of year-over-year gains. Tighter inventory continued to affect home sales, which decreased 7.8 percent over previous-year numbers, according to the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in April 2014 totaled 11,845 homes sold, down from 12,846 in April 2013. The number of houses on the market in April was down 10.9 percent compared to a year earlier, dropping from 71,135 homes for sale in April 2013 to 63,406 this year.

The statewide median price in April was $156,000, up 7.6 percent from April 2013 when the median price was $145,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“Inventory levels are tight but improving slightly and mortgage rates are still fairly low, giving consumers more buying power,” said Phil Chiles, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and Broker-Associate with The Real Estate Group in Springfield. "Sellers who have been putting off a decision to list could find this spring is the right time to sell to take advantage of pent-up buyer demand and less market competition."

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 4.34 percent in April 2014, down from 4.37 percent in March, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In April 2013 it averaged 3.42 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in April 2014 totaled 8,391 homes sold, down 9.9 percent from April 2013 sales of 9,312 homes.

The median price in April 2014 was $190,000 in the Chicago PMSA, up 9.9 percent from $172,950 in April 2013. The time it took to sell a home continued to drop year-over-year in April with listings averaging 65 days until sale, a 15.6 percent decrease compared to 77 days in April 2013.

“There is continuing good news with increasing median prices,” noted Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois.  “However, inventory remains a problem, especially at the lower end of the market.”

Thirty-three (33) of 102 counties in Illinois showed annual home sales increases in April 2014. Fifty-five (55) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including St. Clair, up 24.0 percent to $110,000; Lake, up 15.5 percent to $214,000; Rock Island, up 13.8 percent to $103,000; Peoria, up 11.7 percent to $121,750; and Cook, up 11.3 percent to $192,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 7.6 percent year-over-year home sales decline in April 2014 with 2,210 sales, down from 2,392 in April 2013. The median price rose to $250,000 versus $223,250 in April 2013, an annual increase of 12.0 percent.

"Inventory remains at a low across the city of Chicago, creating lower market times and increased sales prices during a time of year when many traditionally are looking to buy or sell," said Matt Farrell, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and managing partner of Urban Real Estate.

"As buyers navigate their way through the home buying process, it can't be stated enough that if you see something you like, it won't likely be available a few days later. Work with your REALTOR® to ensure you have your ducks in a row, and be ready to pull the trigger and make an offer, as the same home will likely be under contract the next time you get back to it,” Farrell added.

Sales and price information is generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 30 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of May 7, 2014 for the period April 1 through April 30, 2014. 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 May 22.

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