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Illinois REALTOR® Weekly Connection

News and resources for Illinois REALTORS®

January 22, 2013

Industry News & Trends

Illinois Home Sales 22.9 Percent Higher in 2012
Statewide home sales and median prices climbed again in December and in a sign of a strengthening housing market, Illinois finished out 2012 notching a 22.9 percent gain in annual home sales compared to the year before, according to the IAR housing report released today. December home sales rose 15.2 percent to 10,265 homes sold and the statewide median price was $132,000, a 5.6 percent gain. Looking at year-end, 2012 home sales totaled 128,436 compared to 104,480 in 2011.

  • From IAR President Michael D. Oldenettel: "Throughout 2012 we saw signs the state’s housing market was recovering," he said. “When you look at where we were in January 2012 versus where we ended up in December, you have to be impressed with the market’s resilience.”
  • Find talking points, the latest forecast and county-by-county information with an interactive map and sortable stats in the Members Only Market Stats section of the IAR website (login required). 

llinois REALTORS® Set the Agenda for 2013
During this week's IAR Public Policy Meetings in East Peoria, Illinois REALTORS® will be working to make sure REALTORS® have a voice in the local, state and federal public policy issues and legislative battles that affect your business. Check here for highlights and on the IARbuzz blogFacebook and Twitter - @ILREALTOR #iargov. 

CFPB: New Foreclosure Rules for Mortgage Servicers
New rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) would prohibit mortgage servicers from beginning foreclosure proceedings unless a homeowner is 120 days behind on payments and would restrict dual-tracking, or moving ahead with foreclosure while the owner is pursuing a loan modification. Read more from NAR.

Could Spring Homebuying Season Come Early?
A number of positive factors: Increased pre-approval mortgage activity, higher foot traffic at listings and more potential buyers viewing online websites are all signals that the real estate market could be ramping up for a robust spring season, says  real estate columnist Ken Harney


Sales and Marketing

IAR Webinar on Thursday Highlights Three Areas to Focus on to Rock 2013 
Noted real estate trainer and speaker Jared James kicks off IAR's FREE year-long educational webinar series aimed at giving you tips and tools to sell more this year. A prominent real estate specialist will be featured every month on topics ranging from marketing to emerging technology. Thursday's webinar with Jared James begins at noon and you will need to click here and follow the instructions to join the web conference. Save time the morning of the event by testing your IAR member login now to make sure you don't have any trouble logging in.  This is an IAR member's only exclusive webinar so you must sign in as a member to enter: www.illinoisrealtor.org/user/login.  (Note: This initial webinar will be limited to 200 participants but a recording will be available within 48 hours at www.illinoisrealtor.org .)

Chicago Still a Top Moving Destination in 2012
Every year, Penske Truck Rental releases its list of the top 10 moving destinations within the U.S. and in 2012, Chicago continued to make the list, retaining its spot at No. 5. See what other cities made the list

IRS: Simpler Calculation for Home Office Tax Deduction 
Good news for REALTORS® who maintain a home office. Beginning in the 2013 tax year (with returns filed by taxpayers in 2014) there will be a simpler option for calculating the home office tax deduction. Rather than fill out a lengthy form, the IRS will allow qualifying taxpayers to deduct $5 per square foot of home office space up to 300 square feet. Read more from NAR.


Legal Issues

License Law Compliance Issues
If you missed the Jan. 17 IAR Legal Webinar, "License Law Compliance Issues," you can now download a recording of the one-hour webinar to view or listen to at your convenience. IAR Legal Webinars are a members-only benefit so you will need to log in.


Legislative & Advocacy

You can be a 2013 RPAC PACESETTER! 
How? Simply pledge at the Major Investor level ($1,000 or more) by Wed., Feb. 6. You can do this online at www.RPACNow.com or contact Sarah Clayton sclayton@iar.org. NEW this year! All 2013 PACESETTERS will receive a complimentary one-year subscription to the monthly e-newsletter by REAL Trends, plus special recognition in the April Illinois REALTOR® magazine and at the April 16 IAR Capitol Conference. 


Education and Training

Managing Broker License Renewal Deadline is April 30, 2013
IAR has prepared an at-a-glance chart for CE requirements for this renewal period, and the 12-hour interactive/classroom Broker Management CE classes (required only if you transitioned your license by Proficiency Exam) are being scheduled at IAR branch locations statewide. Learn more.


Events 

April 16
Get involved and attend this year's Capitol Conference "REALTOR® Lobby Day" in Springfield. 

April 16-19
IAR Business Meetings will be held in Springfield. A schedule of meetings will be coming soon.


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