Illinois existing-home sales reached record levels in the second quarter of this year, and were up 9.8 percent from the second quarter of 2003, the state’s association of Realtors reported today.


Existing-home prices in were up 7.2 percent from the second quarter of 2003 to the second quarter of this year, the Illinois Association of Realtors also reported today.


A total of 37,409 existing single-family homes were sold across the state in April through June 2004, up from 34,071 sales in the second quarter of 2003. Year-to-date home sales for the first six months of the year total 59,814, up 7.3 percent from 55,762 in 2003.


Home sales were strongest from the second quarter of 2003 to the second quarter of 2004 in the Belvidere, Illini Valley, Iroquois-Ford and Mid Valley areas. While sales shrunk most in the Livingston County, Lamoine Valley, Jacksonville, DeKalb and Quincy areas.


Home-price appreciation was strongest during that period in the Mid Valley, Tri County, Chicago, Northwest and West Towns areas. While prices sank most in the Barrington, Galesburg, Quad City, Decatur, Freeport-Galena and Peoria areas.


“The record level of buying and selling we experienced in this quarter was unexpected given that mortgage interest rates in our region broke the six-percent barrier for the first time since early last December,” said John C. Kmiecik, association president. “The likelihood of rates rising in the second half of the year and the Fed’s well-publicized rate hike in June prompted more buyers to get in the market sooner rather than later. Other economic factors helped foster a favorable climate for housing, including increased business spending and an improving job market. We see a healthy housing sector going forward.”


The second-quarter interest rate for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.22 percent in the North Central Region, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.


The Illinois median price of an existing, single-family home rose 7.2 percent to $188,100 from $175,500 during the second quarter of 2003. The IAR survey covers non-seasonally adjusted median prices for existing, detached single-family homes and condos sold in 34 local association markets throughout Illinois.


The story was repeated in the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA) with sales of existing single-family homes up 10.2 percent in the second quarter to 24,139 compared to 21,914 home sales in 2003.


Year-to-date sales for the Chicagoland PMSA were up 7 percent to 38,264 homes sold from 35,752 in 2003. The Chicagoland PMSA includes the counties of Cook, DuPage, Lake, McHenry, Kane, Will, Grundy and Kendall. The median price of existing single-family homes sold in the Chicagoland PMSA increased 7.9 percent to $245,200 in the second quarter of 2004 compared to $227,200 in the same period one year ago.


Statewide, home prices in the second quarter ranged from $491,200 in the North Shore to $53,200 in the Kewanee area (Mid Valley Association of Realtors). A sample of the areas that reported year-to-year price appreciation in the Chicago metro region include Western Suburbs, up 7.4 percent to $295,600; Chicago, up 16.3 percent to $220,400; Oak Park posted $397,800, up 9.3 percent; West Towns, up 11.9 percent to $200,700; and Aurora up 7.3 percent to $209,400. A sample of areas around the state that saw median price increases includes Greater Gateway, up 7 percent to $88,300; Rockford, up 5.4 percent to $115,500; Belleville, up 6.1 percent to $104,000; Bloomington, up 9 percent to $148,900; DeKalb, up 6.3 percent to $166,900; and Iroquois-Ford, up 6.1 percent to $74,800.


The second-quarter 2004 Illinois Housing Affordability Index stood at 163.2, compared to the index of 183.68 during the second quarter of 2003. The affordability index measures the ability of a typical four-person family to purchase a median-priced existing single-family residence. A family earning the statewide median income (for a four-person family) of $72,351 had 163.2 percent of the income needed to qualify for conventional financing covering 80 percent of a home at the median price of $188,100.


IAR’s Housing Affordability Index uses an interest rate based on a composite of closing rates for fixed-rate mortgages on existing single-family homes as reported by the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. The average second-quarter 2004 effective rate for the North Central region, which includes Illinois, was 6.22 percent (up from 5.57 percent in the second quarter of 2003).


The Illinois condominium market registered strong gains in the second quarter of 2004, up 16.5 percent from 13,979 units sold in April through June of 2003 to 16,282 in the same period of 2004. The statewide median price for condos was up 7.4 percent to $190,200, compared to $177,100 in the second quarter of 2003.


Condominium sales in the Chicago PMSA rose 17.5 percent in the second quarter of 2004 to 15,289 units sold, from 13,008 in 2003. For the Chicagoland area, the median condo price was up 7.5 percent in the second quarter of this year to $194,200. It was $180,600 in 2003.


“The super-heated condominium market has been fueled by the number and variety of properties available and the widening demographic of potential buyers, from first-time buyers to investors,” said Kmiecik, a Realtor and president of Century 21 Kmiecik Realtors in Chicago. “Even with a predicted more temperate pace in the second quarter, with these numbers posted in the first half of the year, we’re on our way to another record year for home sales.”


IAR’s survey includes non-seasonally adjusted median prices for existing condominiums as reported by those local associations who compile condominium statistics.


The Illinois Association of Realtors is a voluntary trade association whose 49,800 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. In addition to serving the professional needs of its members, the Illinois Association of Realtors works to protect the rights of private property owners in the state by recommending and promoting legislation that safeguards and advances the interest of real property ownership.


The association uses the median income for four-person families figure, as determined by the U.S. Census Bureau, in its housing affordability index figures.  According to the Census Bureau, the methodology used to compute four-person family income by state utilizes the most recent data available from the Current Population Survey (CPS) and the decennial census of population as well as per capita personal income estimates produced by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The association also uses the Chicagoland PMSA as defined by the OMB (including Cook County, DuPage County, Grundy County, Kane County, Kendall County, Lake County, McHenry County, and Will County).


For definition of cities included in local areas/associations attached, see the association Web site/market stats at


*Detailed second quarter 2004 home sale statistics report can be accessed at the IAR Web site at



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