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Illinois Home Sales Soar by Double Digits in May, Prices Increase Slightly

The Illinois housing market continued down the road to recovery in May, as both home sales and prices jumped on a year-over-year basis, the ""Illinois Association of Realtors"":http://www.illinoisrealtor.org/ (IAR) recently reported.

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According to IAR, statewide homes sales â€" including single-family homes and condos â€" totaled 11,638 transactions in May 2010, soaring 27.1 percent from the same month last year. This was the ninth consecutive month that sales activity has increased.

In addition, IAR said the median home price last month, coming in at $157,000, nudged up 0.6 percent from May 2009. This marked the third month of positive year-over-year price movement this year.

Total home sales were up in 61 of 102 Illinois counties reporting, and 47 of 102 counties posted median prices increases, IAR said.

""Buying conditions remain favorable, even as the homebuyer tax credit has expired, with mortgage interest rates hovering at historic lows combined with affordability conditions that essentially give buyers 'more bang for their buck' when purchasing a home in today's market,"" said Mike Onorato, IAR president.

In the Chicagoland primary metropolitan statistical area (PMSA), year-over-year homes sales increased for the 11th consecutive month in May. A total of 7,580 homes sold during the month, surging 33.6 percent from one year earlier. However, the region's median home price of $190,500 was down 4.8 percent from May 2009.

In the city of Chicago, May home sales totaled 2,057 transactions, jumping 32.1 percent compared to a year ago. This, IAR said, marked the ninth consecutive month of year-over-year sales gains. Additionally, the city's median home price last month was $225,000, up 2.2 percent from May of last year.

""The increase in units sold is a positive indicator that the tax credit created a more positive impact on the Chicago marketplace than the movement we saw in 2009,"" said Mabel Guzman, president-elect of the Chicago Association of Realtors. ""Additionally, the credit afforded buyers the opportunity to look at higher-priced homes, helping keep their options more affordable.""

Although the homebuyer tax credit has expired, Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the ""Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois"":http://www.real.illinois.edu/, said historically low mortgage rates continue to provide significant incentives for homeownership. Ultimately, though, he said there is an increasing consensus that the creation of private sector jobs will probably provide the most important stimulus for the housing sector.

Going forward, Hewings said the forecasts for the next three months suggest a continuation of the positive changes for sales, but not for prices. He said sales should jump 16 percent to 25 percent in Illinios and 19 percent to 29 percent in the Chicagoland region. However, he said price changes will continue to be stubborn, with little or no movement over the next three months in Illinois and declines in the 4 percent to 6 percent range in the Chicagoland PMSA.

About Author: Brittany Dunn

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