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Illinois Q3 Home Sales Down 21.2 Percent

Job losses and economic uncertainty continue to impact the housing market in Illinois. According to the latest ""Illinois Association of Realtors"":http://www.illinoisrealtor.org (IAR) housing report, total home sales (which include single-family homes and condominiums) were 31,451 in the third quarter, down 21.2 percent from a year ago when 39,904 home sales were reported. The median home sale price in Illinois during the third quarter was $190,000, down 8.2 percent from $207,000 in 2007, the association said.
However, according to Pat Callan, president of IAR, despite the state numbers, several regional housing markets have shown some hardiness during this economic downturn. ""Notably, downstate communities in McLean and St. Clair counties out-performed the state by posting stronger sales and median price increases,"" Callan explained. ""Peoria, Kankakee, and Jefferson counties also fared better than the state as a whole,"" he said.
Thirty-eight of the 100 counties reporting in the state saw median home sale price increases in the third quarter, IAR said. These local markets included:
- Adams County, up 12.3 percent to $107,500
- Champaign, up 4.6 percent to $148,000
- DuPage, up 1.5 percent to $274,125
- Jackson, up 3.0 percent to $104,500
- Jo Daviess, up 19.9 percent to $193,050
- Macon, up 7.6 percent to $93,500
- Macoupin, up 9.1 percent to $80,000
- McLean, up 6.0 percent to $164,250
- St. Clair, up 3.4 percent to $134,950
""The homebuyer tax credit incentive and more affordable home prices have helped prompt sales by first-time buyers and these buyers may continue to benefit if interest rates remain low and more tax incentives result from the economic stimulus plans,"" said Callan.
In the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), total home sales were down 22.1 percent in the third quarter to 20,449, compared to 26,257 in the third quarter of 2007, IAR reported. The median home sale price in this area was off 6.7 percent to $244,900 in the third quarter of 2008, compared to $262,500 in the same period one year ago. (The Chicagoland PMSA, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will.)
Based on IAR's data, third quarter home sales were down 23.3 percent in the city of Chicago, totaling 5,958 compared to 7,769 in 2007. Chicago's median sales price was down 4.5 percent to $289,400, compared to $302,900 last year.
""Clearly the housing market is still unsettled,"" said David Hanna, president of the ""Chicago Association of Realtors"":http://www.chicagorealtor.com/. ""It is only natural at this time for all the participants to be looking to the new Administration to provide some direction for resolving the overriding economic issues we face. With the National Association of Realtors newly proposed ""four-point housing stimulus plan"":http://dsnews.comview_story.cfmxid=3051, we are optimistic that Congress and the President will act to bring some tangible stability to the housing industry,"" Hanna added.
""After a promising start to 2008, the Illinois economy has reverted to a pattern of job declines that follows the trends established nationally and in the rest of the Midwest,"" said Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the ""Regional Economics Applications Laboratory"":http://www.real.uiuc.edu/ (REAL) at the University of Illinois. Although the rate of job losses in Illinois has been below that of the nation and the Midwest region over the last 12 months, from January through September 2008, the state has lost a total of 15,800 jobs, Hewings said.
Hewings added, ""The economy has entered a period where consumer sentiment has been buffeted by the sub-prime market problems and the elevation of unemployment rates to levels not seen in a decade or more. These two events have resulted in a significant retrenchment in spending.""
IAR's sales and price information is generated from a survey of Multiple Listing Service sales reported by 35 participating Illinois Realtor local boards and associations. For detailed third quarter statistics, ""click here"":http://www.illinoisrealtor.org/iar/marketstats/market_statistics.htm .

About Author: Carrie Bay

Carrie Bay is a freelance writer for DS News and its sister publication MReport. She served as online editor for DSNews.com from 2008 through 2011. Prior to joining DS News and the Five Star organization, she managed public relations, marketing, and media relations initiatives for several B2B companies in the financial services, technology, and telecommunications industries. She also wrote for retail and nonprofit organizations upon graduating from Texas A&M University with degrees in journalism and English.
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