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County housing prices continue steep decline

McHenry County home sales increased 52.3 percent in November, compared to November 2011.

Meanwhile, the median price of a home decreased 13.2 percent.

According to data released Thursday by the Illinois Association of Realtors, McHenry County home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) totaled 367 in November, compared to 241 homes sold in November 2011.

To date there have been 3,474 homes sold in McHenry County, compared to the 2,607 homes sold through November 2011, an increase of 33.3 percent.

The median price of a home in McHenry County (including single-family homes and condominiums) was $130,000 in November, compared to $150,000 in Novemer 2011.

The median price of a home in Kane County was $137,500 in November, down 5.2 percent from $145,000 in 2011. Kane County home sales have totaled 5,769 year-to-date, up 23.1 percent from the 4,687 homes sold through October 2011.

Year-to-date home sales in Lake County total 7,638 in 2012, an increase of 26.7 percent from 2011. The median price of a home in Lake County was $158,000, up 3.1 percent from $153,250 in November 2011.

The inventory of homes for sale dropped in most markets, as did the number of days on market. The inventory of homes in McHenry County was 2,217 in November, down 28.9 percent from 3,117 in 2011. Days on market until sale was down from 127 to 90.

"The indicators all point to home prices going up at some point," said Rob Schaid, broker/owner of Re/Max Plaza in McHenry, Wauconda and Richmond. "Prices will go up, it's just a question of when."

Schaid the the decline in the number of days a home stays on the market shows interest by investors.

"More and more investors are coming into the marketplace, snatching things up quickly," Schaid said. "Also first-time buyers. Those are the two largest groups of buyers we have out there."

For 2013, Schaid said he expects to continue to see an increase in sales, "and prices will have to start coming up, as long as we don't run out of inventory. That's the only thing I'm concerned about," he said.

Statewide, home sales increased 30.6 percent over previous-year levels in November and median prices increased 7.7 percent. Illinois 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, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors and managing broker/owner with Re/Max Results Plus in Jacksonvillel. “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 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes McHenry County, home sales (single family and condominiums) in November 2012 totaled 7,604 homes sold, up 36.2 percent from November 2011 sales of 5,582 homes. The median price in November 2012 was $155,000 in the Chicago PMSA, 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 non-resolution of the fiscal cliff, 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; DuPage, up 5.4 percent to $195,000; Grundy, up 30.2 percent to $152,000; McLean, up 14.4 percent to $155,000; Peoria, up 14.3 percent to $120,000; Kankakee, up 10.5 percent to $105,000; Madison, up 3.7 percent to $112,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 22.5 percent year-over-year home sales increase in November 2012 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 2012. 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.

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