Nearly 70 percent of homes sold in the first quarter in Illinois were at a price point below $200,000 according to the 1Q11 report released by the Illinois Association of REALTORS® today. The chart below prepared by economists from the University of Illinois Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL forecast) gives the full picture.

This predominance in lower-priced home sales affects the median price for the period, a trend seen nationwide according to the National Association of REALTORS® report also issued today. NAR cited distressed homes, typically sold at a discount of about 20 percent, accounted for 39 percent of first quarter sales, up from 36 percent last year at this time.

Mortgage interest rates remain below 5 percent and buyer market conditions continue. A recent Washington Post column points to the affordability factor specifically for young buyers entering the market.