Illinois’ third-quarter sales of single-family homes and condos fell considerably from the same period last year, while the statewide median home price slipped, the Illinois Association of Realtors reported today.

A total of 46,759 single-family homes and condos were sold in the third quarter, down 14.7 percent from the 54,804 units sold during third-quarter 2005. The median home-sale price dipped 0.5 percent during the period to $209,000, compared with $210,000 a year earlier.

” … Conditions are ideal for buyers as we head into the home stretch for 2006 with more choices and room to negotiate with current inventory levels,” said Robert Zoretich, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors, in a statement. “Sellers are offering competitive pricing in line with current market conditions. We do expect a more balanced market between buyers and sellers by early spring, which will support future price gains.”

In the Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), total home sales (including single-family and condominiums) were down 18 percent in the third quarter to 32,652, compared with 39,809 home sales in 2005. The median price of single-family homes sold in the Chicagoland PMSA increased 0.8 percent to $252,000 in the third quarter, compared with $249,900 in the same period one year ago. The Chicagoland PMSA includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.

The third-quarter interest rate for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages averaged 6.61 percent in the North Central Region, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., which was down from 6.69 percent reported in the second quarter.

Just 38 of the 99 counties reporting saw sales gains between third-quarter 2005 and third-quarter 2006, while 52 counties reported an increase in median sales price for the same period.

A sample of counties around the state that reported year-to-year price appreciation for homes in the third quarter included: Adams, up 6.1 percent to $92,750; Boone, up 7.1 percent to $182,000; Cook, up 2 percent to $259,900; DeKalb County, up 7.1 percent to $185,000; DuPage, up 3.3 percent to $282,000; Kankakee, up 5.3 percent to $138,000; LaSalle, up 4.1 percent to $138,500; Peoria, up 7.9 percent to $116,000; St. Clair, up 3 percent to $134,900; Sangamon, up 5.4 percent to $122,000; and Tazewell, up 3.4 percent to $122,000.

Sales data is generated from a survey of 36 local Realtor associations throughout the state.

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