The Illinois home sales report for August shows a market working to recover amid continued economic uncertainty and job worries.

According to the Illinois Association of REALTORS® August report, total home sales statewide in August were up 2.6% from July. In the nine-county Chicagoland Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area* home sales moved up 1.3% from July.

Buyers: At this time buyers have compelling reasons to buy including high affordability conditions from record low mortgage interest rates and lower home prices, plus a large selection of homes on the market.

  • Year-to-date sales remain in positive territory, up 9.2% statewide over the same period (January through August) in 2009; home sales are up 15.8% year-to-date in Chicagoland.
  • Home sales for the month of August were down 21.9% statewide compared to August 2009; down 19.6% in Chicagoland.

Sellers: For sellers, pricing remains the number one issue. The home sales price must be competitive relative to homes for sale in the area.

  • The statewide median price in August was $158,000, down 4.2% from August 2009.
  • In Chicagoland the median price in August was $197,000, off 3.9% from August 2009.

Outlook: Sales will remain soft in coming months as we enter the slower fall and winter season, plus there are far fewer people in the pipeline to buy a home in the immediate months after the tax credit expired.

  • In the latest forecast from the University of Illinois Regional Economics Applications Laboratory, economists expect sales to continue to grow modestly month-to-month in September and October then lower in November.
  • Median prices are expected to decline over the three months in both Chicago and Illinois.
  • Forecasts for Illinois employment over the next 12 months indicate considerable uncertainty; after five months of positive job growth, the last three months have seen employment declines.

*The Chicagoland PMSA includes the counties of Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.