CHICAGO — Good news for the Chicago real estate market: The city last month saw a double-digit, year-to-year increase in home sales and a healthy hike in median prices, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors.
An urgency among buyers to take advantage of low interest rates and affordably priced homes is helping drive the numbers, the association said Monday.
In March, the city saw a 13.8 percent year-over-year increase in sales of single-family homes and condos, according to the Illinois Association of Realtors.
The city registered 1,894 sales — up from 1,664 in March 2012.
The median price of a home in March 2013 was $187,500 — up 9 percent compared with March 2012's median price of $172,000.
Condos prices also made what the association called "strong gains," with a 9.3 percent year-over-year jump to $235,000.
In the nine-county Chicago area, home sales numbered 7,914. That's up 18.1 percent from March 2012 sales of 6,703 homes.
The median price in March for the metro area was $155,000, up 2 percent from $151,950 in March 2012, the association said.
In a statement announcing the new sales numbers, Zeke Morris, president of the Chicago Association of Realtors, described tightening inventory in the city — in March it was down 45 percent compared to the same time last year.
"Data tells us that buyers are taking advantage of this period when homes are still priced attractively, and interest rates are low, concerned that it might not last. This creates an urgency among buyers that is promising for sellers ready to act,” said Morris, operating principal and managing broker of Keller Williams Realty.
The average mortgage rate for March buyers was 3.54 percent for a 30-year fixed loan, the Illinois Association of Realtors said.