Illinois foreclosures pushed down the median home sales price statewide by 14.6 percent in 2009, based on data from the Illinois Association of Realtors.

In Will County, the median price dropped by nine percent to $165,001 in 2009 from $181,250 in 2008. Total home sales, meanwhile, rose by 19 percent to 6,088 units from the previous year’s sales of 5,936 units.

In Kendall County, the median sales price dropped by 15 percent to $170,000 in 2009 from $200,000 in 2008. Total home sales reached 1,424 units, marking a nine-percent rise from 2008 sales.

Home foreclosures made a significant price impact in Grundy County, as the median home sales price plunged by 22.3 percent to $136,000 in 2009 from $175,000 in 2008 while total home sales rose by 1.6 percent.

According to Coal City-based Michael Onorato, head of the realtor association, the Illinois home market is beginning to show signs of stabilization as about 50 percent of counties in Illinois posted increases in home sales in the fourth quarter of 2009.

However, the continued rise in Illinois foreclosures and job losses is jeopardizing economic recovery in the state. In 2009, Illinois was ninth among states in foreclosure activity, with 2.5 percent of its households or a total of 131,132 homeowners given default or foreclosure notices. The number represented a 32-percent increase from total notices in 2008 and a 104-percent increase from filings in 2007.

According to data from the Illinois Department of Employment Security, the jobless rate in the state climbed up in December to 11.1 percent, the second-highest jobless rate among Midwestern states. Only Michigan, with a 14.6-percent rate, fared worse than Illinois.

Following Illinois were Ohio and Kentucky, which posted 10.9 and 10.7 percent, respectively. Indiana did better at 9.9 percent.

Maureen O’Donnell, director of IDES, said that a significant and sustained improvement in job creation must be done at the federal level to spur improvements in state economies.

This week, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin announced an allocation of $6 million in U.S. Department of Labor funding for the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The money will be used by the state to create jobs and enhance the weatherization of fixer upper homes and other low-income properties in the state.

According to community advocates, job creation in all counties and cities is the only way to cut down Illinois foreclosures and the state’s huge budget deficit.

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