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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — September brought continued annual gains in Illinois median home prices, while statewide sales declined slightly, according to Illinois REALTORS®. 

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in September 2016 totaled 13,940 homes sold, down 0.6 percent from 14,029 in September 2015.

The statewide median price in September was $180,000, up 5.0 percent from September 2015 when the median price was $171,350. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“Sellers are still seeing the benefits of a market where prices have consistently risen for the past four years,” said Doug Carpenter, ABR, AHWD, GRI, SFR, of Mokena, president of Illinois REALTORS® and managing broker of Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell in Orland Hills. “The tight inventory of homes on the market and a decline in the average time it is taking to sell show buyers are still in the market, they just aren’t finding as much as they would like from which to select.” 

The time it took to sell a home in September averaged 58 days, down from 65 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 64,934 homes for sale, a 13.2 percent decline from September 2015 when there were 74,794 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.46 percent in September 2016, an increase from 3.44 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In September 2015 it averaged 3.90 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in September 2016 totaled 9,895 homes sold, up 0.1 percent from September 2015 sales of 9,887 homes. The median price in September 2016 was $218,000 in the Chicago PMSA, an increase of 5.1 percent from $207,500 in September 2015.

“Annual sales growth in September was flat in Illinois and Chicago,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “Prices, though, continued to increase and this trend is expected to prevail for the next three months. Both the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index and the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index pointed to positive directions at the national level as a result of a positive outlook on the labor market. Unfortunately, job growth in Illinois has been way below the national level, dampening housing sales.”

According to the data, forty-three (43) Illinois counties reported sales gains for September 2016 over previous-year numbers, including St. Clair County, up 18.8 percent with 265 units sold; McHenry County, up 17.1 percent with 479 units sold; and DuPage County, up 3.6 percent with 1,223 units sold. Fifty (50) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Winnebago County, up 13.5 percent to $105,000; Kane County, up 12.9 percent to $210,000; Peoria County, up 8.3 percent to $129,900; and Cook  County, up 4.7 percent to $225,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 3.2 percent year-over-year home sales decrease in September 2016 with 2,336 sales, down from 2,414 in September 2015. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in September 2016 was $261,500, up 4.6 percent compared to September 2015 when it was $250,000.

“We continue to see a vibrant Chicago real estate market with homes moving quickly and with steady median price gains,” said Matt Silver, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and partner at Urban Real Estate. “It is taking 42 days to sell a home, indicating buyers are eager to purchase when they find the right property.”

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