Illinois home buyers snapped up homes in August, driving the statewide median price to its highest level in years, data from Illinois REALTORS® shows.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in August totaled 18,622 homes sold, up 16.8 percent from 15,950 in August 2019.

The statewide median price in August was $238,000, up 11.3 percent from August 2019, when the median price was $213,750. It is the highest statewide median price since 2008. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“The Illinois housing market continued its summer surge in August with strong gains in both home sales and median prices,” said Sue Miller, president of Illinois REALTORS® and designated managing broker of Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group in McHenry. “Consumers are motivated and ready to buy, but many are facing chronic inventory shortfalls and that is affecting their house hunting.”

The time it took to sell a home in August averaged 45 days, the same as last year. Available inventory totaled 40,449 homes for sale, a 35.5 percent decline from 62,737 homes in August 2019.

According to the data, home sales in the Bloomington MSA (McLean and Dewitt counties) totaled 297 units, a 17.4 percent increase while the median price was up 13.3 percent to $170,000; home sales in the Springfield MSA (Sangamon and Menard counties) totaled 325 units, a 7.6 percent increase while the median price increased 6.9 percent to $155,000.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 2.94 percent in August, a decrease from 3.02 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In August 2019, it averaged 3.62 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Metro Area, home sales (single-family and condominiums) in August totaled 13,360, up 19.6 percent from August 2019 sales of 11,169 homes. The median price in August was $280,000 in the Chicago Metro Area, an increase of 11.6 percent from $251,000 in August 2019.

“For the second month in a row, both the Illinois and Chicago housing markets recorded positive month-to-month and year-over-year increases in both prices and sales,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, emeritus director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “While the two consumer sentiment indices pointed in different directions, the Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index (HPSI) increased, reflecting the attraction of historically low interest rates but tempered by shrinking housing inventory.”

The city of Chicago saw year-over-year home sales increase 8.2 percent with 2,813 sales in August, compared to 2,601 a year ago. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in August was $335,000, up 15.6 percent from August 2019.

“The Chicago market was hot in August as homebuyers took advantage of record-low mortgage rates,” said Maurice Hampton, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and owner of Centered International Realty. “The market data reflects this, with significant increases in closed sales and median sales prices, and a drop in inventory, compared to last August. The spike in single family home sales and prices reflects increasing desires for greater space as a result of the ongoing pandemic.”

Sales and price information are generated by Multiple Listing Service data on closed sales reported by 26 participating Illinois REALTORS® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of Sept. 8, 2020 for the period Aug. 1 to Aug. 31, 2020. 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