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Metro Chicago Sees Faster Home Sales and More Stable Prices in May

By Allison Halliday | June 19, 2012

According to the latest analysis by Re/Max, real estate sales in Metro Chicago were 23% higher than in May 2011. In addition the average time residential homes spent on the market before finding a buyer fell by 14% to 160 days, while the median sales price increased by 1%.

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Data from Re/Max shows 8,194 homes were sold in the seven-County Chicago metro area in May compared to 6,644 in May 2011. This is the highest number of homes sold for this month since 2007. The median sales price increased from $170,000 to reach $172,000, and inventory levels fell by 18% compared to a year earlier. Re/Max based its analysis on transaction information from Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC.

Positive factors boosting the homes market in Chicago included a steady decrease in the percentage of sales involving distressed properties. In May distressed sales, including foreclosures and short sales, accounted for 36% of all transactions, down from 52% in February. The counties that saw the greatest increase in the number of home sales transactions included DuPage and Will counties, where sales were up by 29%. Sales increased by 27% in McHenry County and by 26% in Cook County. Lake County saw an increase of 15%, while Kane County saw an increase of 6%. In a Kendall County, the number of homes sold in May 2012 was just one transaction short of last May's total.

Median sales prices rose in three out of the seven counties, which were Cook, Kane and McHenry. Kendall County saw the largest decrease in the average time taken to sell a home, dropping from 201 days in May 2011 to just 116 days in May 2012. In the city of Chicago, the time taken to sell a property fell by 25 days to an average of 142 days.

Sales of detached homes increased by 22% in May compared to May last year, and sales increased by 20% compared to April this year. The median price of a detached home in May was $187,500, an increase of 4% compared to a year earlier, and 6% more than in April this year. Sales of attached homes increased by an average of 26% in May, and the average price was $141,000. In May 2011 the average price was $145,000, but in April 2012 it was $130,000.

Allison Halliday is a Realty Biz News contributing writer. She handles International Real Estate and is a seasoned blogger.
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