Illinois home prices climb 3.7 percent in December #IARMarketStats

Illinois home prices continued to recover with median prices showing year-over-year gains every month in 2014. Home sales, while modestly lower than 2013, pointed toward a stabilizing market, according to the latest report from the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

Some highlights: The statewide median price for the month of December was $154,000, up 3.7 percent from the year before while the year-end median price for 2014 also showed gains — up 6.7 percent to $160,000 compared to $150,000 in 2013. Illinois home sales for the month of December totaled 11,397, a 0.9 percent annual decline compared to December 2013. Home sales for the entire year of 2014 home sales totaled 146,659, down 4.7 percent from 153,937 in 2013. Read the latest IAR news release for more information.

“This year marks what appears to be a turning point for the Illinois housing market. We saw strong and sustained median price gains and sales volumes remained healthy throughout the year. The showing we had in 2014 sets the housing market up nicely for a strong start to 2015,” said Jim Kinney, ABR, CRB, CRS, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and vice president for luxury home sales at Baird & Warner in Chicago.

Five reasons for optimism about the 2015 housing market

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The Illinois housing market in 2014 reflected a return to a more normal market with gradual and consistent gains in home prices and sales. With 2015 sales and prices expected to build on that steady momentum, there is optimism for both the housing market and overall economy. Read today’s housing release from the Illinois Association of REALTORS®.

Here are five factors that bode well for the 2015 housing market:

  • The economy is growing stronger and consumers are taking note. Consumer confidence in the economy is improving and that could prompt more interest in buying or selling a home by consumers who may have been waiting on a stronger economy to make a move.
  • Economists expect 2015 to be another year of steady housing recovery. Different economic issues — state fiscal issues, a slowdown in first-time homebuyers and credit availability — could impact the housing market, but overall, many economists are expecting this year’s market to continue the steady recovery seen in 2014.
  • Mortgage interest rates are the lowest they have been in years. Homebuyers can lock in low interest rates that save them money over the life of their mortgage and give them more buying power as they shop for a new home.
  • The U.S. and Illinois jobs picture is improving. As the economy grows, there have been solid gains in the labor market and job creation. Illinois added 298,700 private sector jobs between February 2010 and November 2014
  • Low gas prices mean more money in consumers’ pockets. It’s been a long time since drivers paid less than $2 a gallon at the gas pump. The decline means consumers have more discretionary money to spend on other goods and services.

Morning Minute: Thursdays and Fridays most popular days to list a home

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When it comes to listing a home for sale, Thursdays and Fridays were the most common days of the week for real estate agents to list the properties in 2014, according to an analysis by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Least popular days? Saturday and Sunday. Read more from NAR.

In other headlines:

Foreclosures decline, driving up prices – Chicago Tribune

Fitch: 6 predictions for housing in 2015 – HousingWire

Morning Minute: Mortgage interest rates fall again; 15-year now below 3 percent

For the third consecutive week, fixed mortgage interest rates have declined, Freddie Mac reports today. The 30-year, fixed rate averaged 3.66 percent, while the 15-year, fixed rate was down to 2.98 percent for the week ending Jan. 15. Read more from Freddie Mac.

In other headlines:

Good Signs for Housing in 2015 – U.S. News and World Report

Can new listings chief help brokers sell more homes? – Crain’s Chicago Business

Buyers Turn to Credit Unions for Mortgages – Daily Real Estate News