REALTORS® reach agreement for flood insurance legislation with House committee

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Following extensive discussions with the House Financial Services Committee, the National Association of REALTORS® has announced its support for proposed changes to the “21st Century Flood Reform Act,” so that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) could move forward.

Among the changes to the legislation is keeping a “grandfathering” policy that protects homeowners from significant rate increases when a flood map changes. The proposed legislation will limit proposed increases to rates and fees, the NAR said. Get the details.

The flood insurance program is set to expire at the end of September.

See today’s NAR press release.


Illinois median prices climb in June while home sales hold steady

Illinois home sales largely held steady and the statewide median price increased in June as motivated buyers were ready to move quickly amid tighter seasonal inventory, according to Illinois REALTORS®.

Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in June 2017 totaled 19,066 homes sold, up 0.3 percent from 19,001 in June 2016.

The statewide median price in June was $216,000, up 5.9 percent from June 2016, when the median price was $204,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“Plummeting inventories continue to pose significant challenges for buyers in many areas of the state,” said Illinois REALTORS® President Doug Carpenter, ABR, AHWD, GRI, SFR of Mokena, managing broker of Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group in Orland Hills. “The lack of homes for sale in the most popular price bands is making it critical for buyers to be ready to hustle when it comes time to make an offer.”

The time it took to sell a home in June averaged 49 days, down from 55 days a year ago. Available housing inventory totaled 59,088 homes for sale, a 14.0 percent decline from June 2016 when there were 68,720 homes on the market.

The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 3.90 percent in June 2017, a decrease from 4.01 percent the previous month, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. In June 2016, it averaged 3.57 percent.

In the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single-family and condominiums) in June 2017 totaled 14,052 homes sold, up 1.0 percent from June 2016 sales of 13,916 homes. The median price in June 2017 was $252,500 in the Chicago PMSA, an increase of 4.1 percent from $242,500 in June 2016.

“While the housing market continues to record gains in prices and sales, the inventory problem remains an important issue,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois. “Hopefully, now that the state has a budget, a recovering state economy will encourage more investment in housing – both new construction and investment by first-time buyers”

According to the data, forty-three (43) Illinois counties reported sales gains for June 2017 over previous-year numbers, including Rock Island County, up 15.7 percent with 206 units sold; St. Clair County, up 10.7 percent with 361 units sold; and Lake County, up 3.2 percent with 1,357 units sold.  Sixty-one (61) counties showed year-over-year median price increases including Champaign County, up 9.3 percent to $168,000; Kane County, up 8.6 percent to $249,800; and Cook County, up 3.1 percent to $263,000.

The city of Chicago saw a 1.7 percent year-over-year home sales decline in June 2017 with 3,266 sales, down from 3,321 in June 2016. The median price of a home in the city of Chicago in June 2017 was $308,000, up 2.7 percent compared to June 2016 when it was $299,900.

“In June, the market exhibited a bit of a holding pattern,” said Matt Silver, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and partner at Urban Real Estate. “Inventory was a contributing factor, as once you sell your home, you’ll need to then buy another – so, sellers are being firm on their pricing, and while some buyers are willing to wait for their perfect home, other motivated buyers are driving down the time on market. As the weather continues to heat up, people will get down to business, provided the price is right.”

Sales and price information are generated by Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 28 participating Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of July 7, 2017 for the period June 1 through June 30, 2017. The Chicago PMSA, 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 47,000 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

Foreign investment in U.S. real estate surges 49 percent; Illinois in top 10

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Foreign investment in U.S. residential real estate reached a new high from March 2016 to April 2017, according to a annual survey released by the National Association of REALTORS® earlier this week.

Foreign buyers amassed $153 billion in residential property compared to the same period a year before, according to the NAR 2017 Profile of International Activity in U.S. Residential Real Estate. Transactions grew in each of the top five countries where buyers live (China, Canada, the United Kingdom, Mexico and India) and almost half of all foreign sales were in Florida, California and Texas. Rounding out the top five states were New Jersey and Arizona, while Illinois, North Carolina, Georgia and New York were top destinations. Members can login in see the report or the press release.



Watch for Illinois REALTORS® June housing report Monday

Geoffrey J.D. Hewings

Monday morning, Illinois REALTORS® will release its June 2017 housing report, with data breakdowns for the state of Illinois, city of Chicago and the nine-county Chicago Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA). Also included will be a housing market forecast by Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois.

Members of the statewide association can access member-only market statistics by using their passwords.

Champaign County Association of REALTORS® to celebrate 100th anniversary July 27

On July 27, the Champaign County Association of REALTORS® (CCAR) will host a 100th Anniversary party from 2 to 4 p.m. at its office at 305 Burwash Avenue in Savoy.

Photos and videos will be used to tell the story of the organization and how it’s grown since its founding in 1917. Cake and punch will be served.

More than 450 members serve consumers in the Champaign County area. The current officers include:

  • President Jim Waller of Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group of Champaign,
  • President-elect Max McComb of RE/MAX Realty Associates of Champaign,
  • Secretary-Treasurer Eric W. Porter of RE/MAX Realty Associates of Champaign, and
  • Immediate Past President Stefanie Pratt of Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group of Champaign.

The Association Executive is Linda Green.

The Board of Directors includes:

  • Jayme Ahlden of RE/MAX Realty Associates,
  • Scott Bechtel of Keller Williams Realty,
  • Kimberly Krisman of RE/MAX Realty Associates-Champaign,
  • Liz McDonald of the McDonald Group,
  • Alex Ruggieri of Sperry Van Ness/Ramshaw Real Estate and
  • P.J. Trautman of Champaign County Realty.

CCAR is the “Voice for Real Estate in the Champaign County area of Illinois, whose more than 400 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. CCAR is the leading resource for REALTOR® members and an advocate for homeownership and private property rights. The association strives to be recognized as a community and education-focused resource comprised of ethical real estate professionals.