Illinois home sales dropped 11.7 percent in July from their year-ago level as prices eked out modest gains, the Illinois Association of Realtors reported today.

For the month of July, Realtors recorded 15,973 total homes sales (which include single-family and condominiums), down from 18,089 sales in July 2005. Last month was the fourth straight month of year-over-year sales declines, according to IAR statistics.

The Illinois median home sale price in July was $214,000, up 2.4 percent from $209,000 a year earlier. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

“Rising mortgage rates, rising inventory levels and higher energy costs affected Illinois’ housing market in July. The market between home buyers and sellers continues to swing back toward a more typical level,” said Stan Sieron, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors. “The Illinois employment picture has been improving in recent months and the demand for housing remains good. Moderating price appreciation rates will help preserve long-term affordability.”

Statewide, single-family home sales totaled 10,898 in July, down 13.4 percent from 12,583 single-family homes sold in July 2005. The median single-family home price in July was $209,000, off 0.4 percent from $209,900 a year earlier.

Statewide, 5,075 condominium sales were reported in July, down 7.8 percent from 5,506 condo sales in July 2005. The condo median price for July was $219,935, up 6.2 percent from $207,000 one year ago.

In the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), single-family home sales totaled 6,327 in July, down 18.6 percent from 7,775 home sales in the same month last year. The median single-family home price for the Chicagoland PMSA was $285,000, up 4.2 percent from $273,500 in July 2005.

Condominium sales in the Chicagoland PMSA were off 8.4 percent in July to 4,836 units sold, compared with 5,282 sales a year ago. The condo median sales price increased 6.1 percent to $225,000, up from $212,142 in July 2005.

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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