Higher interest rates in October slightly cooled the single-family home market but did little to temper condo sales in Illinois, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors.

Total home sales (which include single-family homes and condominiums) were 14,097 in October, down 2.9 percent from 14,520 sales in October 2004. Statewide, 4,483 condominium sales were reported in October, up 10.2 percent from 4,069 sales in the same month last year.

The overall Illinois median home price in October was $209,900, up 14.1 percent from $184,000 a year earlier. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less. The condo median price for October was $204,900, up 9 percent from $187,990 one year ago.

Statewide, single-family home sales were down 8 percent in October to 9,614 homes sold from 10,451 in October 2004. The median single-family home price in October was $212,500, up 17.4 percent from $181,000 a year earlier.

Total home sales year-to-date (January through October) show an overall increase of 2.5 percent to 156,338 homes sold, compared with 152,582 sales in the first 10 months of last year.

“Condo sales outpaced single-family sales in October as we enter the final quarter of 2005, which typically is a slower season for Illinois residential home sales,” said Stan Sieron, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors. “The market is entering a period of transition in which we will see a somewhat slower but more sustainable pace of home sales. Housing remains fundamentally solid with strong demand for home ownership.”

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 6.14 percent, up 0.27 points from the 5.87 average rate during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Last year in October it averaged 5.82 percent.

In the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), single-family home sales totaled 6,355 last month, down 1.6 percent from 6,460 home sales in October 2004. The median single-family home price for the Chicagoland PMSA was $265,000, up 10.4 percent from $240,000 in October 2004.

Condominium sales in the Chicagoland PMSA rose 9.6 percent in October to 4,288 units sold, while the condo median sales price increased 10 percent to $209,000. In October 2004, condo sales for the Chicagoland PMSA totaled 3,911; the median price was $190,000.

“October condo sales in Chicagoland and statewide were the second highest on record for the month of October, and Realtors expect to see interest in the condominium continue,” said Sieron, broker-owner of Stan Sieron and Co. in Belleville. “Overall sales for the year are ahead of last year at this time and home price appreciation remains healthy.”

Sales and price information is generated from a survey of Multiple Listing Service sales reported by 36 participating Illinois Realtor local boards and associations. The Chicagoland PMSA, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.

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