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More Area Homes Sell in 2011 Than 2010

Stronger sales are fueled by lower prices.

DuPage and Kane counties are among 52 of Illinois’ 100 counties that had year-over-year home sales (including single family and condominiums) increases in 2011, compared to 2010, according to data released by the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR). However, while the number of homes sold rose, the prices of those homes declined during that time period.

December 2011 marked six straight months of increases in home sales, which the IAR, in a prepared statement, attributed to “a combination of unseasonably mild weather, historically low mortgage rates and attractive market pricing.”

In DuPage County, 8,272 homes sold in 2011, up 7.5 percent from the 7,694 sold in 2010.

In Kane County, 5,009 homes sold in 2011, up 8.4 percent from the 4,622 sold in 2010.

Median prices dropped. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less. In DuPage County, the median price of $226,000 in 2010 dropped 11.1 percent in 2011 to $201,000. In Kane County, the median price of $168,950 in 2010 dropped 14.2 percent in 2011 to $145,000.

Cook County median prices fell 13.1 percent. The year-end statewide median price for 2011 was $137,500, down 9.2 percent from $151,500 in 2010.

Looking at averages, the average price of a DuPage County home in 2011 was $267,670, down 9.5 percent from the average 2010 price of $295,660.

The average price of a Kane County home in 2011 was $181,688, down 8.4 percent from the average 2010 price of $198,273.

Comparing just December 2011 to December 2010, IAR's latest report shows that statewide home sales in December 2011 totaled 8,828 homes sold, up 14 percent from 7,746 home sales in December 2010. The statewide median price in December was $125,500, down 10.4 percent from $140,000 in December 2010.

For the year, Illinois home sales were nearly even with the previous year, down 0.1 percent with 103,785 homes sold in 2011 compared to 103,899 homes sold in 2010.

"While median home prices continue to be a concern in much of the state, the continued trend of month-over-month increases in the number of home sales is encouraging news," said Loretta Alonzo, CRB, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors and broker-owner of Century 21 Alonzo & Associates in La Grange Park, in a prepared statement. "Buyers are finding deals that are simply too good to pass up, and that coupled with stronger consumer optimism is making this an excellent way to start 2012."

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 3.94 percent in December 2011, down from 4.0 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, known as Freddie Mac. Last year in December it averaged 4.80 percent.

Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Ph.D., director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois (REAL), said there are signs that the economy is improving although the number of unresolved foreclosures continues to be a drag on the housing market.

"Housing market forecasts for January, February and March 2012 for Illinois and the Chicago PMSA suggest that sales volume will be significantly higher than the same period last year, although prices will still be lower than a year ago. Until these foreclosed properties and additions expected in 2012 clear the market, sustained upward movement in prices will be unlikely," Hewings said in a prepared statement. The Chicago PMSA, Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area, is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau and includes nine counties: Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.

Find Illinois housing stats data and the University of Illinois REAL forecast at www.illinoisrealtor.org/marketstats.

George P January 23, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Average sale price of a DuPage County home in 2011 DROPPED 9.5 percent from the average 2010 sale price. This is the headline.
Jim McMahon January 23, 2012 at 07:33 PM
The National Association (NAR) of Realtors has done a bad job in delivering accurate information and predicting future trends. Its marketing company at best. Unit sales are higher due to lower prices and investors buying homes at 50-70% less than the previously recorded sale price.

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