May
24

Home Prices in Illinois Finally Inching Up

May 24, 2010

Good news about the Illinois and Chicago real estate market is so nice, isn’t it? Well, here is some more, and it happens to be the news we’ve been waiting for.

Each month this year we’ve reported on an increase in sales, and April was no different. According to the Illinois Association of REALTORS, 10,323 Illinois homes were sold in April. That is a 34.4 percent increase over April 2009 sales of only 7,683 homes.

Of course, home sales were driven by the Federal Home Buyers Tax Credit, which expired at the end of April. May’s numbers will really be the test as to whether the housing market is on the mend.

But here’s the other good news that wasn’t brought on by the tax credit: Home prices in April saw an increase as well.

IAR says the median price in Illinois for April 2010 was $157,450, a 5 percent increase from $150,000 in April 2009.

“Home prices made sizeable gains statewide, up five percent for the month of April, with nearly half of Illinois counties reporting home price gains,” said Mike Onorato, president of the IAR and broker-owner of Onorato Real Estate in Coal City. “Mortgage interest rates remain at record lows. With affordable prices and new listings coming on the market, buyers will find good opportunities even after the tax credit.”

In the city of Chicago, April home sales rose 41.1 percent compared to last year’s numbers, the eighth straight month of year-over-year sales gains, and the median price of $225,000 was up 3.2 percent over last year’s price of $218,000. That’s the first median-price increase in the city in nearly two years.

In the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA) — which includes the counties of Cook, Lake, DuPage, Will, McHenry, Kane, Kendall, Grundy and DeKalb — year-over-year home sales increased for the 10th straight month, up 47.1 percent to 7,071 homes sold in April 2010 versus 4,807 in April 2009.

Unfortunately, the report on the median home price in these counties as a whole wasn’t as positive, as it took a .5 percent dip over last year’s numbers, so let’s just focus on Cook and Lake County since they provide more good news.

Cook County sales were up 45.5 percent in April over last year’s numbers and the median home price rose 1.8 percent. Lake County homes sales were up 44 percent in April 2010 compared to April 2009 and the median home price increased a whopping 11.2 percent.

“For the first time since the recession began, the housing markets in Illinois and Chicagoland region almost presented positive indicators across the board,” said Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois. “Sales continue to exhibit positive increases through April and the forecasts suggest a continuation of these trends through July.”

Good news is nice, isn’t it? Let’s keep it going.

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Tracey

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