Illinois home sales rose 16.2 percent over previous year levels and the statewide median price was up 5.1 percent, marking six straight months of year-over-year gains, according to IAR's latest housing report . Said IAR President Michael D. Oldenettel, "The February home sales numbers show that we have a good rolling start into a portion of the year where traditionally we see more people list homes." Find county-by-county stats, the latest forecast and market talking points in Members Only Market Stats  (login required). Nationally, February existing-home sales and prices rose as well, NAR reports . Below is some of the media coverage of IAR's housing report:
Register by midnight tomorrow and pay just $99 for the IAR Spring Conference & Expo , May 8-9 at the Gateway Center in Collinsville. Give yourself a business edge with sessions on technology, motivation, business and legal issues along with six hours of CE.
The Illinois Building Blocks Program  has been expanded to include: Belleville, Blue Island, Champaign, Cicero, Crest Hill, Joliet, Lockport, Lynwood, Melrose Park and Peoria. The community revitalization program helps qualifying buyers purchase vacant homes by offering $10,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance. Learn more .
Help an Illinois REALTOR® become the "Web Choice Winner" of REALTOR® Magazine's 30 Under 30 class of 2013. Among the 50 finalists are four from Illinois: Casselyn Feinstein, Leo Solarte, Matt Laricy and Rebecca Thomson.Voting ends Friday .
The IAR office and Legal Hotline will be closed on March 29 in observance of Good Friday.
Register now for a two-day IAR class designed to get managing brokers the 12 hours of broker management continuing education  credit they may need by the April 30 deadline. (Broker Management CE is only required if you transitioned your license by Proficiency Exam). IAR offers the classes in an interactive online format for $159, or you can attend the classroom sessions at IAR's Springfield office for $139. See the list of upcoming sessions:
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) has a new call center to answer questions about obtaining a new professional license, finding authorized CE providers and license renewal. The phone number is 1-855-4IL-PROF (1-855-445-7763 ).
Applications for the Real Estate Educational Foundation's (REEF) Academic scholarships must be submitted by April 1. These scholarships provide financial support to talented college students and real estate professionals. Click here  to learn more about these and other REEF scholarships.
April is Fair Housing Month and on Thursday IAR Chief Legal Counsel Steve Bochenek and Legal Hotline Attorney Betsy Urbance will be discussing a new federal fair housing rule and other issues. Register now  for the one-hour webinar that begins at 9:30 a.m. You may send questions in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org .
When IAR asked members to fight against legislation that could layer hefty costs to doing business, they responded.Learn how  calls made a difference, and what's ahead. Click here  to learn what you can do to continue the battle. Read the State Capitol Report  for updates on what is happening in Springfield.
In the coming weeks you might hear about RPAC supporting a campaign or you might receive a postcard in the mail for candidates supported by our REALTOR® Political Action Commitee (RPAC). Learn more  about RPAC at work at election time.
Ever wonder what first catches the eye of potential homebuyers when they look at your online real estate listings? Researchers have found that 95 percent of people look at the exterior photo of the home for about 20 seconds before moving to other parts of the listing in a "Z" pattern. Read more in the Wall Street Journal .
When homes are located near public transportation with high-frequency service, the property values perform 42 percent better, according to a new study  from NAR and the American Public Transportation Association.
Real estate agents top the list of happiest jobs  according to a survey by CareerBliss.com. IAR's Licensing & Training Center  offers resources and tools to help you get the most out of your career.
Early bird deadline for IAR Spring Conference , May 8-9 in Collinsville. Register now and IAR members pay only $99.
Application deadline for the Real Estate Educational Foundation's  (REEF) academic scholarships.
IAR Business Meetings  will be held in Springfield.
REALTOR® of the Year Banquet . Join the Illinois Real Estate Educational Foundation and IAR in honoring the 2013 Illinois REALTOR® of the Year and all local Board REALTORS® of the year on April 17 in Springfield. Order your dinner ticket by April 3 .
IAR Multicultural Summit : Opportunities in the Caribbean and South Africa will be held in Oak Brook.
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