Morning Minute: How much are homeowners spending for remodeling in your community?

Ever wonder how much people are spending on home improvements? A new report from the National Association of Home Builders breaks down remodeling spending by zip code so you can see how much people are expected to spend on home improvements this year in different states. Illinois homeowners are projected to spend on average $6,854 on home improvements in 2016. Read more and find a geographic map of remodeling spending.

Source: National Association of Home Builders

Source: National Association of Home Builders

In other headlines:

The gender gap is real among Chicagoland homeowners – Chicago Agent

Average 30-year US mortgage rate rises to 3.64 percent – Daily Herald

The Threat of Wire Fraud Is Real – REALTOR® Magazine

Morning Minute: Pending home sales rise to 10-year high, NAR reports

U.S. pending home sales rose again in April, marking three consecutive months of gains and the highest reading in more than 10 years, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Pending Home Sales Index. April contract signings increased 5.1 percent compared to March and were 4.6 percent higher than a year ago.

“The ability to sign a contract on a home is slightly exceeding expectations this spring even with the affordability stresses and inventory squeezes affecting buyers in a number of markets. The building momentum from the over 14 million jobs created since 2010 and the prospect of facing higher rents and mortgage rates down the road appear to be bringing more interested buyers into the market,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a news release. Read more.

In other headlines:

Renting a Chicago apartment becoming less affordable, study says – Chicago Tribune

TransUnion: Consumers show surprising behavior before obtaining mortgages – HousingWire

CAR works with VAREP to help veterans with housing

CAR logo 2016To help active duty troops and military veterans get a better understanding of available loans, financial literacy and home ownership issues, the Chicago Association of REALTORS® (CAR) began a new partnership program with the newly formed Chicago chapter of the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals (VAREP).

The Chicago Association of REALTORS® has been a longtime supporter of education for our REALTORS® on the many programs and services available for veterans,” said Ginger Downs, CAR’s chief executive officer. “We formed the first ‘Heroes Welcome Home’ course in 2008, which has since adapted into the Military Relocation Professional Designation. We welcome VAREP to Chicago and are thrilled to partner with them to help fulfill their mission.”

VAREP logoIllinois has the 10th largest veteran population in the United States, with more than 700,000. Women comprise more than 54,000 of that number, and they are expected to grow by 15 percent in the next 20 years. About 75 percent of Illinois’ veterans are combat or wartime veterans.

CAR will offer REALTORS® Real Estate School Pre-licensing Scholarships to 100 veterans who would like to start a career in real estate. Get more information about CAR partnerships.

April brings strong gains in Illinois home sales and prices

April 2016SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois housing market accelerated in April with robust home sales and a double-digit year-over-year jump in the statewide median price, according to the Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in April 2016 totaled 14,189 homes sold, up 8.2 percent from 13,110 in April 2015.

The statewide median price in April was $186,500 up 10.4 percent from April 2015 when the median price was $169,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“Any suggestion the state’s housing market was beginning to slow appears to have been premature,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Mike Drews, GRI, broker-associate with Charles B. Doss Co. in Aurora. “A buyer can’t dawdle in a market like this. Any delay can result in losing the home they want as there are so many other motivated buyers in this spring market.”

The time it took to sell a home in April averaged 68 days, down from 76 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 60,608 homes for sale, a 14.5 percent decline from April 2015 when there were 70,921 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.60 percent in April 2016, down from 3.70 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In April 2015 it averaged 3.64 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in April 2016 totaled 10,216 homes sold, up 9.3 percent from April 2015 sales of 9,343 homes. The median price in April 2016 was $230,000 in the Chicago PMSA, up 10.6 percent from $208,000 in April 2015.

“The housing market news for the next three months indicates a continuation of the positive trends in both sales and prices,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.  “Compared to last month, more people feel it is a good time to sell, but less people feel it is a good time to buy.  Overall, consumer sentiment seems little changed with analysts pointing to the lower than expected April job growth as the probable cause.”

According to the data, fifty-four (54) Illinois counties reported sales gains for April 2016 over previous-year numbers, including Champaign County, up 27.2 percent with 229 units sold; Tazewell County, up 24.5 percent with 188 units sold; Lake County, up 18.0 percent with 919 units sold; and Cook County, up 6.8 percent with 5,528 units sold. Sixty-two (62) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Kane County, up 21.0 percent to $215,000; Winnebago County, up 16.3 percent to $100,000; Will County, up 9.6 percent to $195,000, and St. Clair County, up 9.5 percent to $125,900.

The city of Chicago saw a 7.9 percent year-over-year home sales increase in April 2016 with 2,628 sales, up from 2,435 in April 2015. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in April 2016 was $287,500, up 6.0 percent compared to April 2015 when it was $271,325.

“After posting only modest sales gains in March, Chicago saw in April a return to what would be expected in a market marked by high consumer demand,” said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and senior vice president for government relations at the Oakbrook-based Inland Real Estate Group of Companies, Inc. “It’s taking 47 days on average to sell a home, which is a breathtaking pace and shows why inventories have plummeted once again.”

Sales and price information is generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 28 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of May 7, 2016 for the period April 1 through April 30, 2016. 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.

Illinois REALTORS® is a voluntary trade association whose more than 44,000 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. In addition to serving the professional needs of its members, Illinois 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

Watch for Illinois April housing data tomorrow



How is the spring real estate market shaping up in Illinois? Did home sales and prices gain stronger momentum in April? Find out on Friday, May 20 when Illinois REALTORS® releases the April statewide housing data. You’ll find regional reports, the latest market forecast and a new infographic that you can share on social media. Check Illinois REALTORS® MarketStats tomorrow.