Winter weather put a seasonal wrap on home sales in Illinois in January with sales of existing homes down 5.4 percent compared to the same period one year ago, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors.

Price appreciation remains healthy with the median, existing single-family home price up 3.7 percent from $160,300 in January 2003 to $166,200 in January 2004. January’s 2004 total sales volume of 6,125 sales were down from 6,474 one year ago.

“January sales typically are the lowest month recorded each year in Illinois due to the snow and cold temperatures, which make for unfavorable house-hunting conditions,” said John C. Kmiecik, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors. “Home prices remain favorable in Chicagoland and throughout the state and with interest rates still attractive and the economic picture brightening, we expect sales to remain healthy after the winter slowdown.”

The average home price registered $195,500 in January of this year, up 4.2 percent from $187,600 in the same month of 2003.

The statewide condominium market also reported a rise in the median price for January, up 6.6 percent to $180,000 compared to $168,900 in January 2003. There were a total of 2,530 existing condominium sales in January, down 5.9 percent from the previous January with 2,689 sales in 2003.

In the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), existing, single-family home sales for January totaled 3,985, off by 5.7 percent from January 2003 sales of 4,226. The median price of existing, single-family home sales in the Chicago PMSA rose 6 percent to $216,800 compared to $204,500 in January 2003. Condominium sales in the Chicagoland PMSA dropped 6 percent in January to 2,365 from 2,517 condo sales a year ago, while the condominium sales price increased 7.1 percent to $183,200 (from $171,100 in January 2003).

The Chicagoland PMSA includes the counties of Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane, Will, Grundy and Kendall and consists of data from the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois.

The Illinois Association of Realtors is a voluntary trade association whose 49,800 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry.

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