Illinois Housing 'Transitioning'; Chicago Sales Drop Nearly 22 Percent
Price appreciation remains level in Illinois as the housing market continues to transition off the recent boom years for residential real estate. According to MLS data released by the Illinois Association of Realtors, the statewide median sale price in November was $199,000, off 0.5 percent from $200,000 a year earlier. Statewide total home sales (including single-family and condominiums) were down 17.6 percent to 11,281 homes sold, compared to 13,691 sales in November 2005. Year-to-date home sales totaled 156,992 in 2006, down 16.3 percent from 187,538 homes sold during January through November of 2005. "The Illinois housing market did not experience a dramatic run-up in prices like other markets in the country over the past several years and we continue to experience fairly stable price appreciation. Sales figures in November reflect a return to more normal market conditions compared to the boom years as well as a seasonal slowdown as we begin the holiday months," said Robert Zoretich, president of the IAR. In the Chicago MSA, total home sales (single-family and condominiums) totaled 7,580 in November 2006, down 21.9 percent from 9,702 home sales in the same month last year. The median home price for the area was $245,000 in November, up 0.5 percent from $243,862 in November 2005. "Currently the employment picture looks good in Illinois, mortgage interest rates are near historic lows and we have good economic fundamentals in place as the market continues its return to more normal conditions. The homeownership rate in Illinois reached 70.9 percent in the third quarter of this year, which is slightly higher even than the national rate of 69.0 percent," said Zoretich, broker-owner of Zoretich Realty Group in Chicago.