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Home sales jump 32 percent in county

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(Sarah Nader - snader@shawmedia.com)
Amy Preves, broker at Prudential 1st Realty in Crystal Lake loads open house signs into her car Wednesday. Home sales are up 32 percent this year in McHenry County.

McHenry County month-to-month home sales increased 32 percent in August, while the median price decreased 1.4 percent from 2011.

According to data released Wednesday by the Illinois Association of Realtors, McHenry County home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) totaled 395 in August, up from 299 homes sold in August 2011. To date there have been 2,379 homes sold in McHenry County, up 32.1 percent from the 1,801 homes sold through August 2011.

Single-family home sales were up 29.2 percent from a year ago, with a median price of $171,000, up 2.1 percent from 2011. Condo sales in McHenry County soared in August, with 47.4 percent more units sold year-over-year. The median price of a condo dropped 8.9 percent from a year ago, to $86,500.

The median price of a home in McHenry County (including single-family homes and condominiums) in August was $152,900, compared to $155,000 in August 2011. The median price of a home in Kane County was $149.450 in August, down 5.4 percent from $158,000 in 2011. Kane County home sales have totaled 4,020 year-to-date, up 19.9 percent from the 3,353 homes sold through August 2011. Year-to-date home sales in Lake County total 5,383 in 2012, an increase of 24.1 percent from 2011. The median price of a home in Lake County was $189,950, down 11.7 percent from $215,000 in August 2011.

Statewide, home sales rose 23.7 percent over previous year levels, part of a 14-month run of sales increases according to the Illinois Association of Realtors.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in August 2012 totaled 13,264 homes sold, up from 10,721 home sales in August 2011. IAR has seen year-over-year increases since July 2011, and the data reflect a 7 percent gain over July 2012’s sales of 12,392 units.

The statewide median price in August was $147,000, down 0.7 percent from August 2011 when the median price was $148,000. The median price in August 2012 was $24,650 higher than it was in January 2012 when it was $122,350. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“We continue to see strong sales despite uncertainty about the economy,” said Loretta Alonzo, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors and Broker-Owner of Century 21 Alonzo & Associates in La Grange Park. “The data speak to pricing levels that continue to bring in homebuyers who are eager to take advantage of interest rates that haven’t budged much from already historically low levels.”

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 3.60 percent in August 2012, up from 3.54 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Last year in August it averaged 4.26 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes McHenry County, home sales in August 2012 totaled 9,240 homes sold, up 28.5 percent from August 2011 sales of 7,188 homes. The median price in August 2012 was $170,000 in the Chicago PMSA, down 3.8 percent compared to August 2011 when it was $176,750.

Despite the decrease, the median price for a home in the Chicago area is still $30,000 above the $140,000 recorded in January 2012.

Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois, said among trends emerging in August was how foreclosed properties are beginning to work through the court system. He said the data suggest foreclosure resolutions delayed until February as federal and state governments and banks worked out a settlement over mortgage lending irregularities are now “clearing the market more rapidly than new additions.”

“The August data show that it will take less than three years to clear the active inventory, a further indication that the backlogs are declining since in April it would have taken 3.28 years to clear the market,” Hewings said.

More than half of Illinois counties reporting (59 of 101) showed year-over-year home sales increases in August 2012. Forty-one counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Champaign, up 1.4 percent to $150,000; Grundy, up 10.2 percent to $141,500; Kendall, up 3.3 percent to $155,000; Peoria, up 3.6 percent to $137,000; Rock Island, up 1.3 percent to $94,250; St. Clair, up 1.2 percent to $122,900; Will, up 1.6 percent to $163,000; and Winnebago, up 9.2 percent to $92,250.

The city of Chicago saw a 23.6 percent year-over-year increase in home sales in August 2012 with 2,209 sales, up from 1,787 in August 2011. The condo market in the city of Chicago continued to show robust sales increases, with a 35.9 percent increase from the 1,027 sales in Augsut 2011 to the 1,396 in August 2012. The city of Chicago median home sale price for August 2012 was $200,000, up 3.9 percent compared to August 2011 when it was $192,500.

The city of Chicago has seen 14,280 homes sold through August 2012, versus 11,992 sold through the same period in 2011.

“Continued signs of a turn-around are a reality in Chicago, as homes are selling and prices are stabilizing,” said Zeke Morris, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors and operating principal and managing broker, Keller Williams Realty. “We will, however, continue to monitor the city’s condo market, as pricing seems to lag by comparison to the single-family homes. The health of the condo market relies on many factors, among them, the viability of individual condo associations, which often can make or break a deal, with negative repercussions for buyers seeking financing.”

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