Illinois home sales decreased 11.6 percent over previous-year levels in March while median prices increased 9.7 percent, according to the March housing report released today by the Illinois Association of REALTORS®. Some insights into the latest market statistics:

“Low housing inventories and a decrease in the number of days to sell a home in Illinois are signals that consumers are feeling much better about the economy. While the number of homes on the market increased from February levels, it’s already clear the spring market will still be characterized by fewer choices and moderately higher prices.” – Phil Chiles, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® and Broker-Associate with The Real Estate Group in Springfield.

“Although the annual sales rates have declined, the month to month changes continue to be strongly positive. In addition, positive housing price gains, continuing declines in the foreclosure inventory levels and the increasing share of sales of homes priced above $200,000 suggest a housing market that is responding positively to signals from the economy.” –  Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois.

“Relative to the number of homes available for sale in the marketplace, Chicago is still selling more homes than it did this time last year. Most of the transactions which closed in March are homes that went under contract in January and February, despite the inclement winter which definitely impacted an already anticipated slower winter market. Buyer demand continues to outpace available inventory; Sellers looking to make a move should be jumping off the fence now while buyers are still able to capitalize on attractive interest rates.” – Matt Farrell, president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and managing partner of Urban Real Estate.