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McHenry County home sales up 26 percent

McHenry County month-to-month home sales increased 26.6 percent in April, while the median price declined 5.5 percent from 2011.

According to data released Tuesday by the Illinois Association of Realtors, McHenry County home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) totaled 281 in April, up from 222 homes sold in April 2011.

To date there have been 988 homes sold in McHenry County, up 42.6 percent from the 693 homes sold through April in 2011.

The median price of a home in McHenry County in April was $145,500, down 5.5 percent from $154,000 in April 2011.

The median price of a home in Kane County was $153,000 in April, a 9.3 percent increase from the $140,000 median price in April 2011. Kane County home sales have totaled 1,621 year-to-date, up 27.3 percent from the 1,273 homes sold through April 2011.

Year-to-date home sales in Lake County total 2,017 in 2012, an increase of 22.5 percent from 2011. The media price of a home in Lake County was $163,000, down 12.8 percent from $187,000 in April 2011.

Statewide home sales in April 2012 totaled 9,961 homes sold, up 15.7 percent from 8,606 home sales in April 2011. This was the best performance since 2010 when 10,897 homes were sold in April.

The statewide median price in April was $135,000, even with April 2011. This was the third straight month of median price increases in Illinois, and marked a $5,000 jump in median prices over March 2012's median price of $130,000.

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

"The fact that median prices remain steady and sales continue to outpace previous-year levels is a positive sign for the housing market," said Loretta Alonzo, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors.

"Despite the month-to-month increases in median prices, it's clear that there still are very attractive deals out there."

Spring is traditionally a strong selling season, but the low home prices and interest rates that are nearly a full percentage point below April 2011 levels are sending clear signals to buyers that they need to move now, Alonzo said.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 3.89 percent in April 2012, down from 3.99 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Last year in April it averaged 4.87 percent.

"The latest employment and housing data for April provide significant evidence of the close relationship between the recovery of the economy and the housing market," noted Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.

"The good first quarter in the housing market paralleled the significant job growth in the economy; the disappointing economic performance in April is reflected in a less optimistic forecast for the housing market through the summer. However, house prices do seem to be stabilizing."

Close to half of Illinois counties reporting (47 of 99) showed year-over-year home sales increases in April 2012. Forty-two counties showed year-over-year median price increases, including Kane County.

In the city of Chicago, April 2012 home sales (single family and condominiums) totaled 1,750, up 19.4 percent from 1,466 homes sold in April 2011. The city of Chicago median home sale price for April 2012 was $184,800, up 9.3 percent compared to April 2011 when it was $169,000.

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