Maybe you should have bought last year

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Joy Poulos (left) of Oak Brook and Carol Lee Cikanek of Hinsdale, Realtors from Your Village Realty Group in Hinsdale, hold up a sign outside a Hinsdale home that sold after 49 days on the market, an indication that the real estate market was turning around in July.

Home sales and prices showed a rebound in November, according to new numbers from the Illinois Association of Realtors. The city of Chicago saw a 22.5 percent year-over-year home sales increase in November with 1,750 sales, up from 1,429 in November 2011.

The condo market in the city of Chicago showed a sales increase of 36.2 percent to 1,047 units sold in November. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in November 2012 was $180,000, up 14.6 percent compared to November 2011 when it was $157,000.

“We are encouraged by positive trends we’re seeing across the Chicago market,” said Zeke Morris, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors and Managing broker of Keller Williams Realty, CCG. “Adding to the mix, November saw a 41.2 percent drop in inventory compared to last year, which tells us the big banks are working through their bottleneck of pending financing agreements. We also saw a decrease in market days, signaling greater confidence among buyers who are picking up attractively priced homes while they still can.”

In the nine-county Chicago region, sales of single family homes and condos in November totaled 7,604, up 36.2 percent from November 2011’s 5,582 homes. The median price in November 2012 was $155,000, in the Chicago region, up 3.4 percent from $149,900 in November 2011.

“The trends have changed from down to up, but as we look ahead to 2013 there are a number of concerns about whether this will be sustained,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “The most obvious one is the potential for the … fiscal cliff, [and] we still have uncertainty about what is happening in Europe and China. If all these have a positive resolution then we can expect 2013 to continue this modest recovery.”

Fifty-five of 102 Illinois counties reporting to IAR showed year-over-year home sales increases in November 2012. More than half (54) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Cook, up 7.9 percent to $151,000, and DuPage, up 5.4 percent to $195,000.

Across, the state, home sales increased 30.6 percent over previous-year levels in November and median prices increased 7.7 percent, Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in November 2012 totaled 10,135 homes sold, up from 7,758 in November 2011.

The statewide median price in November was $140,000, up 7.7 percent from November 2011 when the median price was $130,000. The November median price reflects a 16.7 percent gain from the year’s low point of $120,000 in February 2012. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“All of the measurements we are seeing in this report point to a housing market that is not losing strength,” said Michael D. Oldenettel, CRS, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors and broker owner of RE/MAX Results Plus in Jacksonville. “In fact, we have seen a respectable momentum in a part of the year when the real estate business tends to slow down for the holidays.”

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 3.33 percent in November 2012, down from 3.36 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Last November it averaged 4.0 percent.