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McHenry County home sales end year on high note

The frame of a house stands next to a recently built home on Regal Drive of the Ashton Pointe neighborhood in Crystal Lake.
The frame of a house stands next to a recently built home on Regal Drive of the Ashton Pointe neighborhood in Crystal Lake.

Home sales in McHenry County totaled 3,819 in 2012, up 33.9 percent from 2,853 in 2011.

According to numbers released Tuesday by the Illinois Association of Realtors, the year-end median sales price was $141,000, down 7.8 percent from $153,000 in 2011.

For the month, closed sales totaled 341 in December 2012, up 25.8 percent from December 2011.

The median sales price for all properties in McHenry County dropped 0.7 percent, from $140,000 in December 2011 to $139,000 in December 2012, while the inventory of homes for sale fell 30 percent, from 2,903 to 2,033.

Kane County home sales increased 15.7 percent from 432 in December 2011 to 500 in December 2012, while the median sales price was up 9.4 percent to $142,270. Year-end home sales were up 22.9 percent, from 5,104 to 6,274, while the average price dropped 1.4 percent to $143,000.

Month-to-month Lake County home sales increased 24.3 percent from 547 to 680, while the median sales price decreased 4.8 percent to $157,000. Year-end home sales were up 26.7 percent, from 6,569 to 8,322, while the average price was down 5.6 percent to $170,000.

Statewide, home sales were up 15.2 percent in December, while the median sales price increased 5.6 percent to $132,000.

Illinois home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in December 2012 totaled 10,265 homes sold, up from 8,908 in December 2011. Year-end 2012 home sales totaled 128,436, up 22.9 percent from 104,480 in 2011.

The statewide median price in December was $132,000, up 5.6 percent from December 2011 when the median price was $125,000. The December median price reflects a 10 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. Year-end 2012 median price reached $139,000, up 0.7 percent from $138,000 in 2011.

"Throughout 2012 we saw signs the state's housing market was recovering," said Michael D. Oldenettel, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors and managing broker/owner with Re/Max Results Plus in Jacksonville. "When you look at where we were in January 2012 versus where we ended up in December, you have to be impressed with the market's resilience."

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 3.32 percent in December 2012, down from 3.33 percent during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Last December it averaged 3.94 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area, home sales (single family and condominiums) in December 2012 totaled 7,372 homes sold, up 19.2 percent from December 2011 sales of 6,184 homes. Year-end 2012 home sales totaled 90,365, up 26.7 percent from 71,315 homes sold in the region in 2011.

The median price in December 2012 was $151,500 in the Chicago PMSA, up 4.5 percent from $145,000 in December 2011. The year-end 2012 median price reached $160,000, down 1.5 percent from $162,500 in 2011.

"Positive signs for the housing market continue with the comparative advantage of ownership versus rental generating a significant opportunity for increased housing sales in 2013," said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. "The housing market is likely to experience some bumpiness in the first quarter of the year until there is resolution of the fiscal challenges in Washington and Springfield."

Fifty of 102 Illinois counties reporting to IAR showed year-over-year home sales increases in December 2012. Thirty-nine counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Cook, up 7.7 percent to $150,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 14.6 percent year-over-year home sales increase in December 2012 with 1,806 sales, up from 1,576 in December 2011. The year-end 2012 home sales totaled 22,333, up 22.4 percent from 18,250 home sales in 2011.

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