Median home prices in Illinois snapped a 20-month streak of price declines in March, a turnaround coinciding with the start of the spring selling season.

The statewide median price in March came in at $130,000, even with March 2011, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors. It’s the first time the state’s median price hasn’t decreased since June 2010.

“There’s no doubt that these are strong numbers to open the spring selling season,” said IAR President Loretta Alonzo. “To see such good sales numbers, coupled with a measure of price stability is encouraging news no matter what side of a real estate transaction you happen to be on.”

Illinois home sales posted the best March sales numbers since 2007. Home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in the month totaled 9,575, expanding 21.1% from 7,904 home sales a year earlier.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area, 6,590 homes were sold in March, up 23.8% from March 2011 sales of 5,323 homes. The median price in March was $151,850 in the Chicago PMSA, down 3.9% compared to a year earlier when it was $158,000.

“Sales volumes are up, time-on-the-market levels are down significantly from a year ago and prices appear to be stabilizing in Illinois although continuing to fall in Chicago,” said Geoffrey Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.

“Further, in the last month there was a more even spread of sales prices compared to previous months where homes sold for less than $200,000 dominated the market,” Hewings added.