Housing markets in Ohio and Illinois during February posted strong gains compared to a year ago, while prices experienced mixed movement, according to the Realtor associations in both states.

In Ohio, February home sales reached 8,393, a 7.1 percent increase from the 7,834 sales posted in February 2005, the Ohio Association of Realtors reported.

The average sales price of an Ohio home dipped 2.6 percent in February to $143,083, down from the year-ago price of $146,971.

The Realtors association said a record number of sales were recorded during the January-February period this year –15,346 — marking a 5.2 percent increase from the 14,589 sales posted during the two-month period in 2005, which served as the market’s best ever.

The state’s average sales price (January-February) of $146,141 nearly mirrors the $147,269 average posted during the period last year, the association reported.

In Illinois, single-family home sales reached a new high for the month of February, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors’ latest report.

Single-family homes sales were up 4.4 percent in February, while total home sales (which include single-family and condominiums) were up 1.8 percent to 9,936 homes sold, compared with 9,759 homes sold in February 2005.

The Illinois median home price in February was $190,000, up 2.2 percent from $185,900 a year earlier. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less. Year-to-date, home sales are down a fractional 0.2 percent, from 19,111 homes sold in 2005 to 19,078 in 2006.

Statewide, single-family home sales were up 4.4 percent in February 2006 to 6,891 homes sold, compared with 6,603 single-family sales in February 2005. The median single-family home price in February was $181,000, up 4.3 percent from $173,500 a year earlier.

In the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), single-family home sales totaled 3,890 in February 2006, up 0.1 percent from 3,888 home sales in the same month last year. The median single-family home price for the Chicagoland PMSA was $255,000, up 8.1 percent from $236,000 in February 2005.

Statewide, 3,045 condominium sales were reported in February 2006, down 3.5 percent from 3,156 condo sales in February 2005. The condo median price for February was $207,000, the same as one year ago.

Condominium sales in the Chicagoland PMSA eased 3.9 percent in February 2006 to 2,921 units sold, while the condo median sales price increased 1.4 percent to $213,000. February 2005 condo sales for the Chicagoland PMSA totaled 3,041; the median price was $210,000.

“Condo sales, while down slightly from a year ago, still marked the second-best level on record for the month of February,” said Stan Sieron, IAR president and broker-owner of Stan Sieron and Co. in Belleville.

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