Home Sales April 2008 Springfield IL.

By: Fritz Pfister

Welcome to real time real estate. Preliminary numbers are in for the local housing market for April of 2008. As predicted here, based upon March sold pending contracts, member brokers of the Capital Area Association of Realtors MLS report closed home sales were down from April 2007.

With one business day remaining for brokers to report, the 321 closed home sales are down by 64 or by 16.6% from 385 in April of 2007. Expect those numbers to change slightly when the final numbers are reported. For the first time in months the median sale price slipped by $1000, or by 1.04% to $95,000.

The time it took for a home to get sold in April was up to 89 days from 78 last April. The cumulative days on the market are substantially higher when including time on the market during a previous listing period when there was no sale, to an estimated 148 days on the market.

Through the first four months of 2008 closed home sales are down 224 or by 18.4% to 989, days on the market are up to 92 from 79, and the median sale price is up to $97,000, from $94,900 or by 2.2% compared to January through April 2007.

Last week we shared with you that consumer spending, and job growth would be the reasons for any slow down, or pick up in home sales this year. There was a sliver of good news this week with the unemployment rate falling to 5%, consumer spending up fractionally in March, and first quarter GDP growth of .6%. This means we were close, but no recession.

The not so good news was consumer confidence fell to the lowest level since 2003. Low consumer confidence doesn't bode well for consumer spending. I believe the tax rebates will help, however most will go into gas tanks, to grocery stores, and on credit cards. However extra money and good weather usually pick up people's spirits.

Last week we reported Springfield had a net increase of 163 jobs in 2007, not nearly enough to put a dent in the record inventory of homes for sale. Yesterday the governor announced plans to relocate 148 employees from IDOT's traffic safety division to Southern Illinois. This would be a devastating blow to the local economy, and to the families that will be uprooted.

This could add more homes for sale within the local market, when there are 1801 homes listed for sale today, a record for this date. Only one in four listings have sold this year, there is noticeable downward pressure on home prices, it is taking longer to sell, and job growth is already anemic. Yet we remain one of the best housing markets in the Midwest.

If the governor is successful in relocating these 148 jobs and families, these families will have to sell their homes during very tough market conditions, exacerbating their personal dilemma.

With over 600,000 square feet of vacant office space in Springfield, you'd think the governor and IDOT could leave their expensive lease and move to more affordable space in Springfield. This is another example of changing the way we do business in Springfield as promised by this governor during his campaigns.

Regrettably for the families affected by this proposal, for the community of Springfield, and for the people of the state of Illinois, in my opinion all are having to suffer the consequences of the most inept, and possibly the most corrupt leadership in the history of the state, and that's saying something in Illinois.

How are you all enjoying the; "change the way we're going to do business in Springfield", promised by Blagojevich? I guess voting for change, for the sake of change, has its' perils.

Although recall legislation failed this week, there will be a recall in 2010. Hopefully the damage to the state caused by this administration can be repaired in a reasonable amount of time. Hang in there folks, brighter days lay ahead.

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