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posted: 6/23/2016 10:22 AM

May brings strong growth to Illinois home sales and prices

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The year's housing market momentum continues with Illinois home sales and prices posting robust gains in May, according to the Illinois Realtors.

Statewide home sales, which includes condominiums, totaled 16,150 houses sold in May, up 6.0 percent from 15,237 in May last year.

The statewide median price was $194,000 in May, up 7.2 percent from the same month in 2015 when the median price was $181,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

"Inventories continue to be tight across the state as buyers scour the market for deals," said Mike Drews, president of Illinois Realtors and broker associate with Charles B. Doss & Co. in Aurora. "The pronounced demand we have seen for more than a year appears to be setting this selling season up to be one where homes go quickly and for more money, which is a huge advantage for sellers."

The time it took in Illinois to sell a home in May averaged 59 days, down from 70 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 62,445 homes for sale, a 15.3 percent decline from May 2015 when there were 73,724 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.60 percent in May, unchanged from the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In May last year, the average rate was 3.82 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago region, home sales in May totaled 11,664 homes sold, up 7.5 percent from a year ago when 10,847 homes sold in May. The median price in May was $234,500 in the region, up 6.1 percent from $221,000 a year ago.

The Chicago market includes Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.

"Median prices continue to grow. In Chicago, much of the growth was generated by much more rapid increases in the prices of foreclosed properties rather than regular sale prices," said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. "Given the uncertainty in the state's economy and the pending national elections, the housing market continues to grow in terms of sales and prices and the short-term (three months ahead) forecasts remain positive."

According to the data, 43 Illinois counties reported sales gains for May over previous-year numbers, including McLean County, up 21 percent with 288 units sold; DuPage County, up 11.5 percent with 1,507 units sold; and Peoria County, up 6.7 percent with 270 units sold.

Forty-nine counties showed year-over-year median price increases, including Winnebago County, up 32.9 percent to $112,900; McHenry County, up 13.0 percent to $200,000; Sangamon County, up 12.9 percent to $142,000, and Cook County, up 4.3 percent to $245,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 5.0 percent year-over-year home sales increase in May with 2,887 sales, up from 2,750 in May last year. The median price of a home in Chicago was $291,000 in May, up 3.6 percent compared to a year ago when it was $281,000.

"Sellers are still seeing healthy median price gains in the Chicago market, particularly in the single-family segment," said Dan Wagner, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors and senior vice president for government relations at the Oak Brook-based Inland Real Estate Group of Companies Inc. "The 40 days it's taking to sell a home in Chicago underscores the fast-moving nature of this market and shows that the city is powerfully attractive to buyers."

Find Illinois housing stats and the University of Illinois REAL forecast at