Illinois home sales, prices make a late-summer surge in August

08_august-2016The Illinois housing market got a healthy bounce in August, with gains in both home sales and median prices, according to Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in August 2016 totaled 16,455 homes sold, up 6.7 percent from 15,415 in August 2015.

The statewide median price in August was $192,000 up 6.7 percent from August 2015 when the median price was $180,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“Houses sold briskly in August as consumers wedged in purchases in the final full month of summer,” said Mike Drews, GRI, president of Illinois REALTORS® and broker-associate with Charles B. Doss & Co. in Aurora. “What’s remarkable are the strong gains we saw statewide despite a market that has been bedeviled by a lack of inventory.”

The time it took to sell a home in August averaged 55 days, down from 64 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 64,915 homes for sale, a 14.8 percent decline from August 2015 when there were 76,156 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.44 percent in August 2016, remaining unchanged from the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.In August 2015 it averaged 3.90 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in August 2016 totaled 11,906 homes sold, up 7.6 percent from August 2015 sales of 11,066 homes. The median price in August 2016 was $230,000 in the Chicago PMSA, an increase of 4.5 percent from $220,000 in August 2015.

“Sales recovered in August and prices continue to show positive annual gains,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “However, month-to-month sales’ forecasts suggest a downward trend for the next three months, driven in part by low inventories, the poor job recovery in Illinois and uncertainties about the presidential election.”

According to the data, fifty-five (55) Illinois counties reported sales gains for August 2016 over previous-year numbers, including DeKalb County, up 36.7 percent with 134 units sold; Champaign County, up 17.4 percent with 290 units sold; St. Clair County, up 16.7 percent with 314 units sold; and Kane County, up 11.5 percent with 767 units sold. Fifty-four (54) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including McHenry County, up 16.5 percent to $205,000; Winnebago County, up 15.8 percent to $110,000; and Sangamon  County, up 12.2 percent to $143,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 2.6 percent year-over-year home sales increase in August 2016 with 2,770 sales, up from 2,701 in August 2015. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in August 2016 was $275,000, up 1.5 percent compared to August 2015 when it was $271,000.

“We saw a strong surge of late-summer buying in August which lifted sales to positive annual gains,” 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. “The downside to this is that inventories in the city of Chicago saw a notable 14.7 percent decline, making August the fifth month in a row where we’ve seen double-digit percentage decreases in the number of homes for sale.”

Sales and price information are 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 Sept. 7, 2016 for the period August 1 through August 31, 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

Morning Minute: Watch for Illinois August housing data tomorrow

How did Illinois home sales and median prices perform in the final month of the summer housing market? Find out on Thursday, Sept. 22 when Illinois REALTORS® releases the August statewide housing data. You’ll find regional reports, the latest market forecast and an infographic you can share on social media. Check Illinois REALTORS® MarketStats tomorrow.

In other headlines:

NAR Study Finds Real Estate Firms Have Positive Outlook, Despite Sales Volume Decrease – National Association of REALTORS® (NAR)

NAR Settles Patent Dispute with Data Distribution Technologies, LLC – NAR

Despite slowdown, there’s still hope for housing starts – HousingWire

Morning Minute: Make your home more efficient and save money

Image: Bigstock

Image: Bigstock

The Freddie Mac blog post, “4 Reasons to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient,” offers reasons that it pays to make your home as energy efficient as possible, including saving money and helping your home’s resale value down the road. Read more.

In other headlines:

Rockford Area Realtors work together to improve the city’s downtown green space – WREX

New program is helping local Quincy vets get housing – WGEM

U.S. Households Make Long-Awaited Gains in Housing Recovery – Wall Street Journal

Housing Markets Move More Into Buy Zone – REALTOR® Magazine Daily Real Estate News

Quicken Loans: Appraisers set higher values on homes in August – HousingWire


2 reasons housing issues of older, single women need to be addressed

Senior woman walking in park (Bigstock).

Senior woman walking in park (Bigstock).

The longer life expectancy of Americans and the tendency for women to outlive their male spouses and partners are at least two reasons the housing needs of older, single women should be noted in the coming years says the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

In “As Baby Boomers Age, Older Single Women Will Face the Greatest Housing Challenges,” the author says women who rent rather than own their homes are at the greatest risk. Having the financial means to make home modifications and secure assistance with daily activities and care becomes more difficult for those with fixed incomes.

Illinois REALTORS who want a better understanding of the issue and see related charts and graphs can read the blog post.


Morning Minute: More U.S. homeowners regaining equity in homes, CoreLogic reports

Image: Bigstock

Image: Bigstock

The number of U.S. homeowners who regained positive equity in their homes rose in the second quarter of 2016, according to the latest report from CoreLogic.

During that time period, another 548,000 homeowners regained positive equity, bringing the total to approximately 47.2 million homes, or 92.9 percent of all U.S. mortgaged properties, CoreLogic reports. Read the full news release here.

“Home-value gains have played a large part in restoring home equity. The CoreLogic Home Price Index for the U.S. recorded 5.2 percent growth in the year through June, an important reason that the number of owners with negative equity fell by 850,000 in the second quarter from a year earlier,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic.

In other headlines:

U.S. Households Make Long-Awaited Gains in Housing Recovery – Wall Street Journal

Mortgage Rates Head Up – Freddie Mac

4 tips on capturing real estate clients through Pokémon Go – HousingWire