Home sales for 2003 in Illinois and Ohio shattered the previous year’s record by an average 6.5 percent, according to surveys conducted by Realtor associations in both states.

Rounding out a banner year for home sales with December’s figures up 1.8 percent, 2003 fulfilled the predictions of industry economists by breaking last year’s record for sales of existing, single-family homes in Illinois. According to the latest survey by the Illinois Association of Realtors, a total of 120,674 sales have been reported year-to-date for 2003, up 5.3 percent from 114,601 sales in 2002.

Monthly sales in December were up 1.8 percent to 8,891 homes sold compared to 8,734 homes sold in the same period a year ago.

The median, existing single-family home price increased 5.2 percent to $171,800 from $163,300 in December 2002. Looking at the full year, the statewide median home price increased 5.3 percent in 2003 to $120,600; in 2002, the median price was $114,600. The statewide average home price in December 2003 was $198,100, up 3.8 percent from 190,900 in the same month of 2002.

Home sales activity throughout Ohio reached record-breaking levels in 2003, the Ohio Association of Realtors reported.

“Ohioans took advantage of favorable interest rates and our excellent array of homes in all price categories to make the American Dream of homeownership a reality,” said OAR President Barbara Lach. “While other segments of our economy struggled throughout most of the year, Ohio’s housing market proved to be a pillar of strength.”

Statewide sales of new and existing homes in 2003 totaled 130,459, a 7.8 percent increase from the prior record of 121,017 sales posted in 2003.

The state’s average sale price in 2003 of $148,802 marks a 3.3 percent increase from the $144,014 average posted in 2002.

Sales in December 2003 posted a record-setting 9,396, a 4.5 percent increase from the 8,990 sales posted during the month last year. The month’s previous best-ever sales mark (9,052 sales) occurred in 1998. The month’s average sales price of $150,514 is a 2.3 percent increase from the December 2002 average sales price of $147,197.

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