Illinois consumers were in the mood to buy in December, pushing statewide home sales and median prices to strong gains for the month, according to data released by Illinois REALTORS.
Statewide home sales closed out the overall year with a modest decline while median prices continued an eight-year trend of sustained year-over-year annual increases.
Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in December 2019 totaled 11,372 homes sold, up 12.1% from 10,144 in December 2018. Year-end 2019 home sales totaled 156,937, down 2.6% from 161,209 in 2018.
The statewide median price in December was $200,000, up 7.2% from December 2018 when the median price was $186,500. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.
The year-end 2019 median price reached $208,965, up 3.4% from $202,000 in 2018.
"More temperate December weather and attractive mortgage rates set the state up for a strong finish to a year that has been marked by sales swings," said Ed Neaves, president of Illinois REALTORS and designated managing broker of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Snyder Real Estate in Bloomington. "Looking ahead, it is possible that 2020 will look a lot like 2019, as many of the same market dynamics, which include low inventories and attractive financing rates, will extend into the new year."
The time it took to sell a home in December averaged 58 days, down from 59 days a year ago.
Available housing inventory totaled 45,292 homes for sale, an 8.2% decline from December 2018 when there were 49,319 homes on the market.
The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.72% in December 2019, an increase from 3.70% the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In December 2018 it averaged 4.64%.
In the nine-county Chicago Metro Area, home sales (single-family and condominiums) in December 2019 totaled 7,874 homes sold, up 12.8% from December 2018 sales of 6,982 homes. Year-end 2019 home sales totaled 110,420, down 3.3% from 114,195 homes sold in the region in 2018.
The median price in December 2019 was $237,500 in the Chicago Metro Area, an increase of 5.6% from $225,000 in December 2018. The year-end 2019 median price reached $248,000, up 2.3% from $242,500 in 2018.
“December provided one of the few months of 2019 when both sales and prices increased on a monthly and an annual basis, with sales increases reflecting national trends” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “While the national forecasts suggest continued growth of housing demand in 2020, the concerns in Illinois center on dampened employment growth and continued net out-migration.”
Sales and price information are generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 26 participating Illinois REALTOR local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of Jan. 8, 2020 for the period Dec. 1 through Dec. 31, 2019.
The Chicago Metro Area, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.
Illinois REALTORS is a voluntary trade association whose more than 50,000 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry.
Find the 2019 Annual Report on the Illinois Housing Market at www.illinoisrealtors.org/marketstats/public-archive.
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