‘Excitement’ in local housing market

By Mike Nolan
Last Modified: Oct 21, 2012 02:25AM

Tonya Corder says a “sense of excitement” has returned to the local housing market.

Both buyers and sellers “are more optimistic than they have been in the past,” Corder, president of the Mainstreet Organization of Realtors, said Friday. Her comments came after data showed another strong month of year-over-year gains in sales of existing single-family homes in the Chicago area, although selling prices were stagnant.

Corder, managing broker of Keller Williams Preferred Realty in Orland Park, said she’s hopeful the momentum of the last few months can continue into the late fall and winter, typically a slow period for real estate overall.

She said she’s seeing more first-time buyers enter the market, and that cheap mortgages should continue to make home buying attractive. Freddie Mac said 30-year mortgage rates averaged 3.37 percent last week, and a Federal Reserve program to buy tens of billions of dollars worth of mortgage-backed securities each month is intended to keep a lid on rates.

In the Chicago metro area, sales of single-family homes and condominiums totaled 7,484 last month, up 24 percent from September 2011, the Illinois Association of Realtors reported. The median price of $160,000 last month was unchanged from a year earlier, the group said.

September sales were down 19 percent from August, when 9,240 homes and condos were sold, according to the Springfield-based association.

Nationally, sales of existing homes were down 1.7 percent last month compared with August, but rose 11 percent from the September 2011 pace, the National Association of Realtors said.

“Despite occasional month-to-month setbacks, we’re experiencing a genuine recovery,” said Lawrence Yun, the group’s chief economist.

Nationally, the median sale price was nearly $184,000, up 11.3 percent compared with September 2011, the NAR said, noting it was the seventh consecutive month of year-over-year increases in the median sale price.

Still, Corder said sale prices locally remain depressed and have yet to recover “to the level they should be.”​​

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