Illinois home sales fell for the second consecutive month in May as the state’s median-home-price growth slowed to a more moderate pace, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors’ latest report.

Total homes sales, which includes single-family and condominiums, slipped 2.2 in May to 17,442 homes sold, compared with 17,840 homes sold a year ago.

Year-to-date home sales (January through May) totaled 66,161 in 2006, down 1.3 percent from 67,055 homes sold during the same period in 2005.

The Illinois median home price in May was $206,000, up 3.1 percent from $199,900 a year earlier. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

“Residential housing markets are doing very well in Illinois as the market transitions to a more normal pace of buying and selling,” said Stan Sieron, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors. “The Illinois employment picture is improving and is a favorable backdrop for the housing market. The supply of homes on the market also is improving, which means that buyers have more choices and perhaps even more leverage in getting the home they want.”

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region was 6.7 percent in May 2006, up 0.1 points from the 6.6 average rate during the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. Last year in May the 30-year fixed loan averaged 5.82 percent.

Statewide, single-family home sales totaled 11,745 in May 2006, down 3.5 percent from 12,166 single-family homes sold in May 2005. The median single-family home price in May was $199,900, up 2 percent from $196,000 a year earlier.

In the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), single-family home sales totaled 6,844 in May 2006, down 8.5 percent from 7,480 home sales in the same month last year. The median single-family home price for the Chicagoland PMSA was $275,000, up 5.8 percent from $260,000 in May 2005.

Statewide, 5,697 condominium sales were reported in May 2006, up 0.4 percent from 5,674 condo sales in May 2005. The condo median price for May was $215,000, up 4.9 percent from $204,950 one year ago.

Condominium sales in the Chicagoland PMSA were basically level, down just 0.1 percent in May 2006 to 5,441 units sold, and the condo median sales price increased 5 percent to $218,500. May 2005 condo sales for the Chicagoland PMSA totaled 5,444; the median price was $208,081.

“Condo sales statewide edged up slightly from last year’s levels,” said Sieron, broker-owner of Stan Sieron and Co. in Belleville. “Home sales will move up and down somewhat over the remainder of the year but stay at a historically high plateau with 2006 expected to be the third-strongest year on record.”

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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