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January Home Sales Increase for Seventh Straight Month

  • February 22, 2012

by Erin Calandriello


Is the housing market on a roll for good?

The Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR) reported today that existing home sales in the state rose 16.1 percent last month compared to January 2011. This is the strongest January sales report since 2007, according to IAR. In Chicago, January home sales increased 5.7 percent.

Existing home sales, which are comprised of closed transactions on single-family homes, townhomes, condos and co-ops, climbed to 6,435 in January from 5,543 a year ago. While the increase in home sales can be seen as good news, year-over-year, the median home sales price in the state dropped by 9.3 percent to $122,500. (In Chicago, the median home sale prices dropped .7 percent, year-over-year.)

Analysis on this morning’s report from the IAR press release:

“After years of standing on the sidelines, buyers are finding this is the right time to get into affordable housing,” said Century 21’s Loretta Alonzo. “While sellers may not be getting all of the money they want for a house, they are getting traffic and interest at levels that haven’t been seen in several years.”

January marks the seventh month in a row that home sales in the state have increased by double digit percentages. In December, sales bumped up 14 percent year-over-year, in November, sales jumped 14.2 percent, in October, they rose 15.3 percent, in September, they bumped up 13.5 percent, in August they climbed 25.9 percent, and in July they shot up 18.4 percent.

More from IAR:

Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois, added that the Feb. 7 settlement between states and five large banks relating to foreclosure abuses could speed pending cases through the court system. “This provides mixed news for the housing market; it is positive in the sense that the large backlog can now begin to be removed from the inventory,” he said. “However, it is likely to continue to dampen any prospect of near-term housing price recovery.”

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