Real Estate Report 3/4/13 – The US Midwest

Midwest Real EstateToday, in our ongoing series about local real estate markets, we’ll take a look at home sales and trends in the Midwest:

We’ll start with Illinois – the Rock River Times reports an increase in Illinois home sales and median prices in January:

Illinois home sales increased 31.1 percent over previous-year levels in January and median prices increased 1.2 percent, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors (IAR). Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in January 2013 totaled 8,502 homes sold, up from 6,484 in January 2012. The statewide median price in January was $125,000, up 1.2 percent from January 2012 when the median price was $123,500. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. “The steady improvement we saw through much of 2012 seems to be continuing in 2013,” said Michael D. Oldenettel, CRS, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors and managing broker/owner with RE/MAX Results Plus in Jacksonville, Ill. “All the numbers we track show that Illinois appears to be on the way to a real and sustained housing recovery.”

In nearby Indiana, the median price and the number of homes sold in January were also up from 2012, Inside Indiana Business reports:

The Indiana Real Estate Markets Report today released by the state’s REALTORS shows that statewide, when comparing January 2013 to January 2012, the following occurred: The number of closed home sales increased 22.9 percent to 4,222, the median sale price of those homes increased 5.9 percent to $108,000, and the average sale price increased 5.7 percent to $129,409,

In Iowa, home sales weren’t up quite as much in January, but still posted strong gains, the Sioux City Journal reports:

According to the Iowa Association of Realtors (IAR), Iowa home sales have increased in 18 of the last 19 months. January continued this trend with sales up more than 14 percent from last year. IAR’s January 2013 Housing Trends Report shows that home sales climbed 14.7 percent as 1,898 homes sold/closed in January, compared to the 1,655 homes that sold/closed in January 2012. Twenty-eight of the 44 local Realtor boards in Iowa reported increases in sales. Prices increased in January as well, as the median sale price jumped 7.3 percent from last year.

In Kansas, the housing recovery may be threatened by Governor Brownback’s plan to eliminate the interest deduction for homeowners:

State tax deductions for mortgage interest and real estate taxes, worth hundreds of dollars a year to each eligible Kansas household, may be eliminated to help fill the budget hole created by gaps in the state income tax. Officials of Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration argue that the deductions benefit the wealthy and will be less beneficial as the state reduces income taxes. But the Kansas Realtors Association says the mortgage interest deduction is a middle-class tax break, and eliminating it could cripple the housing market.

In Michigan, they also saw a bump in home prices in January, The Detroit News reports:

Metro Detroit experienced larger home price increases than the national average, with prices in Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn rising 9.1 percent in December from the year before, according to CoreLogic. Michigan home prices jumped 6 percent, below the national average, but it was the 16th highest among states in the country. The CoreLogic report follows last week’s news that a 20-city Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index rose 5.5 percent in October, the largest year-over-year gain in six years. Metro Detroit had the third largest increase at 11.9 percent in October and has posted 17 consecutive months with year-over-year gains, according to the Case-Shiller index.

In Minnesota, the Twin Cities real estate market finished 2012 with strong gains, MPR News says:

Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller index show Twin Cities home prices in December up 12 percent compared to the same month the previous year. That is the Twin Cities’ biggest annual price gain since 2001… However, prices remain shy of their peak a few years ago. Twin Cities home prices are still off roughly 26 percent.

In Missouri, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that home sales and prices were up slightly in December, lagging behind other regional states:

St. Louis-area home prices were up 3.2 percent in December, compared to a year earlier, according to new data from CoreLogic. The real estate analysis company also reported that prices here rose 0.1 percent from November to December. The housing price recovery in the St. Louis area is lagging far behind the nation. Prices nationally in December were up 8.3 percent over the year — the biggest increase since May 2006. They rose 0.4 percent between November and December.

In Nebraska, NTV reports that the state’s mortgage delinquency rates are among the lowest in the USA:

The percentage of mortgage holders at least two months behind on payments fell to 5.19 percent in the last three months of 2012. That’s down nearly 14 percent since the last three months of 2011. North Dakota’s delinquency rate was 1.53 percent; South Dakota’s 1.97 percent; and Nebraska’s and Alaska’s 2.20 percent.

In North Dakota, Housing Wire reports that 2012 was strong for the local real estate market, driven largely by the oil economy:

In Washington D.C. and North Dakota, home prices jumped 23% and 18%, respectively. The significant increases reflect the strong incomes and employment of citizens in those states and is aligned with a sustainable recovery.

In South Dakota, KELO reports that home prices were up slightly in December:

In South Dakota, prices rose 1.7 percent. While it may not sound like much, it’s positive news considering a year earlier South Dakota experienced one of the largest increases in the nation. In December 2011, many other states saw declines but South Dakota home prices rose 3.1 percent from a year earlier.

In Ohio, January was the strongest for home sales in five years, RIS Media says:

“Housing activity was up abnormally high during the traditionally slower months at the end of the year,” says Chris Pedon, President of the Columbus Board of REALTORS. “So we’re not surprised to see such a jump in closings last month.” Home prices hit their lowest in several years during the recession but are well on their way back. The average sale price of a home sold in central Ohio in 2012 was $167,459, which is 7.2 percent higher than in 2011.The average sales price ($149,477) jumped 5.1 percent from January of 2011 and the median sales price ($129,000) was up 5.3 percent.

In Wisconsin, Kenosha News reports that January home sales were strong:

According to data from the Wisconsin Realtors Association, sales of existing homes grew more than 18 percent statewide compared with January 2012. Median home prices also improved compared with the same month last year, up to $123,000. That reflects an increase of 3.4 percent.

And in Wyoming, reports on the local market:

The Wyoming real estate market remains heavily divided between urban housing (over 50% of all Wyoming listings are in the city of Cheyenne) and wilderness acreage. This dichotomy allows Wyoming to appeal to a variety of home buyers and investors and, unlike many parts of the country, prices are on the rise. The average list price for single family homes increased 4% between February and March. In contrast, multi-family housing is becoming ever more affordable and Cheyenne condos have dropped to the $175,000 mark.