According to the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR), statewide home sales (including single family and condominiums) in July 2011 totaled 9,708 homes sold, up 18.4 percent from 8,197 home sales in July 2010. The statewide median price in July was $153,000, down 3.8 percent from $159,000 in July 2010. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.
“The market, like the economy, continues to struggle even though interest rates and prices would appear to suggest favorable conditions for housing purchases,” said Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois. “It would seem that until the economy signals a clear rebound—with sustained employment growth of the order of 200,000 jobs added per month—can we expect to see a sustained uptick in housing sales and some modest recovery in prices. Since April, the unemployment rate has not shown any definitive movement.”
In the nine-county Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single family and condominiums) totaled 6,625 homes sold, up 19.2 percent from July 2010 sales of 5,560 homes. The median price in July 2011 was $182,500 in the Chicagoland PMSA, down 5.4 percent compared to last year in July when it was $193,000.
The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) for the North Central region was 4.59 percent in July 2011, up from 4.53 percent during the previous month, according to Freddie Mac. Last year in July it averaged 4.58 percent.
“Illinois home sales saw a strong jump this month and the first year-over-year gain since June of 2010 when sales were still under the influence of the homebuyer tax credit stimulus,” said Realtor Sheryl Grider Whitehurst, ABR, CRB, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR) and a managing broker for Traders Realty in Peoria, Ill. “Mortgage interest rates remain at near-record lows and affordability conditions are still strong for qualified and motivated buyers who are out there studying their options, however, the current level of economic uncertainty and tight credit are taking a toll on buyer confidence.”
More than 60 percent of Illinois counties reporting (63 of 100) showed year-over-year sales increases in July 2011 including: Champaign, up 43.4 percent to 195 sales; Cook, up 9.5 percent to 3,598 sales; DuPage, up 41.6 percent to 813 sales; Kane, up 25.5 percent to 502 sales; Lake, up 35.7 percent to 643 sales; Peoria, up 30.8 percent to 187 sales; Rock Island, up 44.0 percent to 108 sales; Sangamon, up 30.9 percent to 212 sales; Will, up 22.1 percent to 535 sales, and Winnebago, up 14.4 percent to 286 sales.
In the city of Chicago, July home sales (single family and condominiums) totaled 1,655, up 4.2 percent from 1,588 homes sold in July 2010. The city of Chicago median home sale price for single family and condominiums in July 2011 was $210,000 up 6.9 percent compared to July 2010 when it was $196,500.
“This is the first month, year-over-year, where we are without a federal tax credit and are encouraged by July's sales, hopefully a positive outlook for the remainder of 2011,” said Mabel Guzman, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors (CAR) and a Realtor with Envision Real Estate LLC in Chicago. “There is an ongoing absorption of units throughout the city, specifically in the performance of the condo market over 2010, as well as compared to 2009. We will continue to monitor inventory, FHA changes to loan limits and accessible and affordable mortgages for qualified buyers.”