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Illinois Home Sales Continue to Increase, Prices Hold Steady

The housing market is heating up in Illinois. According to a report released Thursday by the ""Illinois Association of Realtors"":http://www.illinoisrealtor.org/ (IAR), statewide home sales continued to increase in March, and median prices remained relatively unchanged.


In March 2010, Illinois home sales--including single-family homes and condos--totaled 9,478 transactions, up 32.8 percent from the same month last year. This marked the seventh consecutive month that statewide home sales have increased on a year-over-year basis.

IAR's report showed that year-over-year home sales were up in 54 of 99 Illinois counties, including Kane, up 72.5 percent; Tazewall, up 55.6 percent; DuPage, up 51.8 percent; Cook, up 50.8 percent; and Grundy, up 19.4 percent.

In the Chicagoland primary metropolitan statistical area (PMSA), year-over-year home sales were positive for the


ninth consecutive month, up 45.4 percent from last year. And March total home sales in the city of Chicago were up 49.7 percent from a year earlier, representing the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains.

""Strong sales are working off housing inventories and helping to stabilize the market, although the number of foreclosures remains a concern as these distressed properties continue to affect prices,"" said Mike Onorato, IAR president. ""The declines in median home prices have moderated significantly from last year signaling a regain of consumer confidence about home purchases.""

After falling 3.6 percent in February, home prices remained steady in March. According to IAR, the statewide median home price in March 2010 was $148,500, inching down just 0.3 percent from March 2009. During the same period, the median home price fell 4.6 percent to $184,000 in the Chicagoland PMSA and also dropped 4.6 percent in the city of Chicago to $209,000.

Looking forward, Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois said the significant increase in sales in both Chicago and Illinois for the first quarter of 2010 and the forecasts for a continuation of this trend through the next quarter offer some evidence of an upward trend.

In addition, Hewings said forecasts for the second quarter of 2010 suggest a modest rise in median prices in absolute terms, although the levels remain 1 percent to 3 percent lower in Illinois and 7 percent to 9 percent lower in Chicago than prices recorded a year ago.

About Author: Brittany Dunn


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