As consumers’ appetite for homes coincided with the traditional real estate season, a reduced inventory led to faster sales and higher median prices in May, according to data released by Illinois REALTORS®. 

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in May 2021 totaled 17,675 homes sold, up 51.8 percent from 11,642 in May 2020. Homes sold an average of 32 days in May 2021, compared to an average of 53 days a year earlier.

The statewide median price in May was $262,000, up 21.8 percent from $215,050 in May 2020. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

Homes for sale totaled 25,426, a 45.7 percent decline from May 2020 when there were 46,791 homes on the market.

“This year’s moving season has started out bright for sellers with their homes being purchased at top prices,” says Sue Miller, President of Illinois REALTORS® and designated managing broker of Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group in McHenry. “But the future remains overcast for those trying to purchase their dream home due to the continued record low inventory of available housing of all types.”

According to the data, home sales in the Champaign-Urbana MSA (Champaign, Ford and Piatt counties) totaled 312 sales, a 29.5 percent increase while the median price rose 11 percent to $188,700. In the Rockford MSA (Boone and Winnebago counties) home sales totaled 391, a 10.8 percent increase. The median price increased 22.2 percent to $158,500.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 2.95 percent in May 2021, a decrease from 3.06 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In May 2020, it averaged 3.23 percent.

Last month, 12,768 homes (single-family and condominiums) were sold in the nine-county Chicago Metro Area, a 63.5 percent increase from the 7,809 homes sold in May 2020.

The median home sale price in May 2021 was $310,000 in the Chicago Metro Area, an increase of 19.2 percent from $260,000 in May 2020.

“The market continues to exhibit positive growth in sales and prices,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, emeritus director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “However, affordability is again becoming a challenge as the National Association of REALTORS® noted that more than 50 percent of recent sales were made with a down payment of 20 percent or more, making it difficult for first-time buyers to offer competitive bids.”

In the city of Chicago, home sales (single-family and condominiums) in May 2021 totaled 3,358 homes sold, up 97.4 percent from May 2020 sales of 1,701 homes.

The median price of a home in Chicago in May 2021 was $351,000, up 12.1 percent compared to May 2020 when it was $313,000.

“The data from May shows the stark contrast of where we were last year, when the COVID-19 stay-at-home order truly started to impact the Chicago real estate market, compared to this year as the city slowly opened up, and the changes are astounding, with a 97.4 percent increase in closed sales,” said Nykea Pippion McGriff, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and vice president of brokerage services at Coldwell Banker Realty. “We’re currently seeing all types of properties, from single-family to condos, moving swiftly off the market. Buyers are prepared to move quickly on their dream homes, and those who are considering making a change should call their REALTOR® to begin the selling process.”

Sales and price information are generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 23 participating Illinois REALTORS® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of June 7, 2021 for the period May 1 through May 31, 2021. The Chicago Metro Area, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.

Illinois REALTORS® is a voluntary trade association whose more than 50,000 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. In addition to serving the professional needs of its members, Illinois REALTORS® works to protect the rights of private property owners in the state by recommending and promoting legislation to safeguard and advance the interest of real property ownership.

Find Illinois housing stats, data and the University of Illinois REAL forecast at