Today IAR released its home sales report for March data. Home sales were up 21.1 percent statewide in March 2012 compared to March 2011 and median prices held steady, breaking a 20-month streak of price declines.

“There are encouraging signs in the market,” said Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) of the University of Illinois, in his Illinois housing market forecast. “Sales volumes are up, time-on-the-market levels are down significantly from a year ago and prices appear to be stabilizing in Illinois although continuing to fall in the Chicagoland area. Further, in the last month there was a more even spread of sales prices compared to previous months where homes sold for less than $200,000 dominated the market.”

IAR recently spoke to Dr. Hewings about the spring real estate market. In this video, he talks about an expected rise in home sales, the impact distressed properties continue to have on prices and the current market factors — including rising rents and low mortgage rates — that could prompt more people to buy.