Today’s Real Estate Report – Illinois

Chicago, IllinoisAt Gay Realty Watch, we look for news to share with you about the gay real estate market – both lgbt real estate news and news specific to gay and lesbian real estate meccas. If you have a gay real estate story that you’d like to share with us, contact us at [email protected].

Today, in our ongoing series about local real estate markets, we’ll take a look at home sales and trends in the Illinois real estate market.

Let’s start in Chicago. Digital Journal reports that home sales are way up, but prices are only up slightly:

Home buying activity remained on the upswing across the metropolitan Chicago real estate market through the first quarter of 2013, according to an analysis by RE/MAX. Home sales completed in the seven-county area during the quarter totaled slightly more than 20,000 units, 26 percent more than were sold during the same three-month period last year. “Home sales are accelerating and prices are stabilizing or even increasing in many areas as the inventory of homes, both distressed and otherwise, continues to shrink,” commented Laura Ortoleva, media spokesperson for RE/MAX in northern Illinois. Home prices continued to rebound. The median sales price was 2 percent higher than a year ago, rising to $147,000 for the quarter. The inventory of detached and attached homes listed for sale at the end of March was 32,156, 51 percent less than 12 months ago. reports that Springfield home sales got a boost from the state:

February home sales in Illinois are up 16.2 percent from a year ago. Illinois median home prices enjoy sixth straight months gaining value over the prior year. On April 1, Governor Pat Quinn’s Illinois Housing Development Authority increased the mortgage assistance available through the Illinois ‘Hardest Hit’ program to $35,000 per household in the state. The governor also announced that Illinois ‘Hardest Hit’ has recently helped its 7,000th homeowner avoid foreclosure. The program increase will help another 500 working families keep their homes. Stabilizing the foreclosures is part of the governor’s commitment to strengthen Illinois’ communities.

Down in Peoeia, the housing market is emerging from the real estate crisis. reports:

The central Illinois housing market took its shots during the national recession but dodged the economic haymakers that landed in Florida, Arizona and California. “Even our bad times were better than most. Compared to some of the horror stories I heard about in other markets, Peoria fared well,” said Pat McCarthy, a Realtor with ReMax Unlimited. Peoria’s real-estate history over the past 10 years is the old tortoise and the hare story. While some markets surged in price in the early years of the past decade, homes in central Illinois sold at a slower but steady rate.