Illinois received an unexpected gift during December - rising home sales. Crediting the unseasonably mild weather, low mortgage interest rates, and attractive market pricing, the state recorded its sixth consecutive month of increasing numbers of homes sold.[IMAGE]
According to the recent report released by the ""Illinois Association of Realtors"":www.illinoisrealtor.org/, the total number of homes sales during December was up 14 percent year-over-year. Overall, data from Illinois showed 8,828 homes sold for the month, off of 7,746 sold during December 2010.
More than half of the counties in Illinois demonstrated a year-over-year uptick in home sales, with 52 of the state's 100 counties reporting elevated numbers. While median pricing remains down, 43 counties in Illinois did show an increase in pricing year-over-year.
Lower median pricing has helped improve sales statistics, and the statewide median price for December was $125,500. The tally represents a 10.4 percent decrease in median pricing year-over-year, with numbers during December 2010 sitting at $140,000.
Counties going against the broader pricing trend included Champaign, up 12.2 percent; Grundy, up 3.7 percent; Kankakee, up 10.5 percent; Peoria, up 0.9 percent; Saint Clair, up 5.5 percent; Sangamon, up 1.2 percent; and Woodford, up 8.5 percent.
In the state's nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area, home sales rose 17 percent year-over-year in December, and median pricing was depressed by 13.6 percent year-over-year. For the city of Chicago, home sales were up by 6.4 percent during the month on a year-over-year basis, and median pricing declined by 6.2 percent for the same period.
Commenting on the results of its survey, Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory, said, ""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.""
Bob Floss, president of the ""Chicago Association of Realtors"":www.chicagorealtor.com/, noted of IAR's findings, ""December ended the year with an optimistic showing of buyers coming out and making decisions about investing in a home. While the year-end numbers for 2011 were down over 2010, a positive uptick in sales toward the end of the year is a great indicator of a strong winter and spring season for buyers and sellers, alike, looking to get off the fence.""
Continuing his statements, Floss, who is also the broker and owner of ""Bob Floss and Son Realty"":bobflossandson.com/, added, ""Still problematic is the downward pressure distressed properties are putting on the market and a trend we will continue to monitor this year as we observe changes in median pricing throughout the city.""