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home sales jump 69%

McHenry County home sales rose 69 percent in March over a year ago.

The median home price in the county fell 7.1 percent, from $98,500 to $91,550.

According to data from the Illinois Association of Realtors, home sales statewide posted the best March sales numbers in four years, and median prices snapped a 20-month streak of price declines.

Statewide home sales, including single-family homes and condominiums, totaled 9,575 homes sold, up 21.1 percent from 7,904 home sales in March 2011.

This was the best March performance since 2007 when 11,979 homes were sold.

A total of 44 homes sold in McHenry County in March, compared to 26 in March 2011. To date there have been 132 sales compared to 67 last year.

In Kane County, the median price of a home dropped 7.3 percent, from $120,000 to $111,250. Home sales jumped 80.3 percent compared to a year ago, from 61 to 110.

The statewide median price in March was $130,000, even with March 2011. This is the first time the median price hasn’t decreased since June 2010, according to Illinois Association of Realtors President Loretta Alonzo.

The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

Alonzo said foreclosures, which were once bottlenecked in the court system, are beginning to be resolved, interest rates continue to be at near-record lows and prices are attractive.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 3.99 percent in March, up from 3.91 percent during the previous month. Last year in March it averaged 4.86 percent.

More than half of Illinois counties reporting (54 of 99) showed year-over-year home sales increases in March 2012. Sixty-seven counties showed year-over-year median price increases.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday that U.S. home sales fell 2.6 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.48 million. That followed a revised 4.6 million sold in February.

The supply of homes on the market fell 1.3 percent last month to 2.37 million, which could help drive up prices further in the coming months.

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