Illinois Home Sales Higher For 2016, Despite Dip In December
Sales of existing homes in Illinois were down in December, but up overall in 2016.
The trade group Illinois Realtors reports that 162,380 houses and condos were sold in the state last year --- up 3.9% from 2015.
But home sales for the month of December were down 2.8% from the previous December.
According to Illinois Realtors, home sales were up in most major metro areas in the state. For instance, 3,021 homes were sold in 2016 in the Champaign-Urbana Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), up 6.2% from the year before. The area’s median sales price for 2016 of $145,000 was up 0.8% from 2015.
But sales were down in the Decatur, Springfield and Quad-Cities metro areas. In the Decatur MSA, 1,220 home were sold in 2016, down 4.2% from 2015. However, the median home price rose in December by 2%, to $89,250.
The statewide median home price was up 6.4% in 2016, at $184,000. For December, the median price was $174,900, up 6.0% from December 2015.
Geoffrey Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois, says a lack of inventory kept home sales in Illinois from going even higher.
“People are not offering their homes for sale, they’re staying put”, said Hewings. “They want to see what’s going to happen. And then perhaps, if the signals in the economy are very positive over the next five to six months, we might see an increase in that inventory.”
Hewings said that desire to wait for positive economic signals could explain why Illinois home sales softened in the second half of the year, especially in November and December.
He thinks uncertainty about the state budget and the incoming Trump administration created a wait-and-see attitude in many potential homebuyers.