The Illinois housing market defied seasonal expectations with statewide home sales and prices higher not just in December, but for 2020 as a whole, according to data released by Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in December 2020 totaled 14,835 homes sold, up 28.7 percent from 11,531 in December 2019. Year-end 2020 home sales totaled 172,394, up 9.6 percent from 157,268 in 2019.

The statewide median price in December was $229,000, up 14.6 percent from $199,900 in December 2019. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. The year-end 2020 median price reached $225,000, up 7.7 percent from $209,000 in 2019.

“The best December sales in more than a decade is proof of the importance of homeownership,” said Sue Miller, president of Illinois REALTORS® and designated managing broker of Coldwell Banker Real Estate Group in McHenry. “Even during the pandemic, the state’s housing market finished 2020 strong, surpassing the year before.”

It took an average of 42 days to sell a home in December, down from 57 days a year ago.  Homes for sale totaled 28,982, a 38.8 percent decline from December 2019 when there were 47,332 homes on the market.

According to the data, home sales in the Carbondale-Marion MSA (Jackson and Williamson counties) totaled 138 sales, a 38 percent increase while the median price was up 1.7 percent to $116,500. In the Rockford MSA (Boone and Winnebago counties) home sales totaled 457, a 26.2 percent increase. The median price was up 8.4 percent to $140,900.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 2.68 percent in December 2020, a decrease from 2.77 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In December 2019 it averaged 3.72 percent.

Last month, 10,530 homes (single-family and condominiums) were sold in the nine-county Chicago Metro Area, a 32.0 percent increase from the 7,976 homes sold in December 2019. Year-end 2020 home sales totaled 120,256, up 8.8 percent from 110,523 homes sold in the region in 2019.

The median home sale price in December 2020 was $266,250 in the Chicago Metro Area, an increase of 12.3 percent from $237,000 in December 2019. The year-end 2020 median price reached $268,000, up 8.1 percent from $248,000 in 2019.

“Housing sales and prices are expected to continue their positive trends into the first quarter of 2021,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, emeritus director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “A major source of continuing demand is likely to come from those seeking to relocate to accommodate opportunities to sustain the percentage of time spent working from home. Declining housing affordability and a decrease in rental prices may serve to dampen housing demand especially at the lower end of the price spectrum.”

In the city of Chicago, home sales (single-family and condominiums) in December 2020 totaled 2,220 homes sold, up 17.3 percent from December 2019 sales of 1,892 homes. Year-end 2020 home sales totaled 25,999, down 0.8 percent from 26,217 homes sold in 2019.

The median price of a home in Chicago in December 2020 was $307,500, up 11.4 percent compared to December 2019 when it was $276,000. The year-end 2020 median price reached $316,000, up 7.1 percent from $295,000 in 2019.

“December created great opportunities for buyers and sellers. All signs are pointing to a robust January, and now is not the time to let off the gas,” said Nykea Pippion McGriff, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and vice president of brokerage services at Coldwell Banker Realty. “With sales prices up 11.4 percent and interest rates still low, buyers who are on the fence should be encouraged to make their move. Prospective sellers with home prices aligned with market needs should be encouraged to sell, with days on the market down 19.1 percent.”

Sales and price information are generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 23 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of Jan. 7, 2021 for the period Dec. 1 through Dec. 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 Find the 2020 Annual Report on the Illinois Housing Market at