Pending home sales is on a tear across the U.S. reaching its highest level in nine years with the West and Midwest reporting the largest gains, according to figures recently released by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Based on the number of contract signings that occurred in April, 2015, the Pending Home Sales Index rose to 112.4, a year-over-year increase of fourteen percent. The index has been steadily increasing for the past eight consecutive months, a sign that the market continues to recover.
Also, homeowners who have put off selling their home are beginning to think about upgrading or downsizing and some of these properties are slowly starting to come online.
However, inventory still remains low in some markets like Chicago and Miami where multiple offers are becoming increasingly common. “Realtors® are saying foot traffic remains elevated this spring despite limited — and in some cases severe — inventory shortages in many metro areas,” said Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist, NAR.
In Illinois, statewide sales of single family homes and condominiums were up 6.6 percent in April compared to the previous year with a total of 12,822 homes sold. Despite median home prices soaring nearly ten percent to $170,000, the average time on market dropped to 78 days. Also, inventory is nearly five percent lower this year with fewer than 70,000 homes on the market in April 2015. “The housing recovery continues with solid gains in prices and sales anticipated for the next three months,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director Regional Economics Applications Laboratory, University of Illinois.
Housing demand remains strong in the Chicago metro region, where inventory is very tight. This has pushed the median home price to new levels reaching $210,000, up over ten percent from $190,000 in April 2014. The median home price in the City of Chicago is up ten percent as well to $275,000. The number of home sales for the nine-county metro region rose 7.4 percent with 9,155 homes sold in April 2015. As a result, Chicago area real estate agents and brokers are in greater demand helping both buyers and sellers in this busy and competitive market.