Chicago-area home prices stabilized, sales volume rose in April

RE/MAX Northern Illinois has just released its April market report for the Chicago metro area:

April home sales activity in the metropolitan Chicago real estate market was characterized by rising sales and firmer home prices, according to an analysis by RE/MAX. Combined sales of attached and detached homes in the seven-county metro market totaled 6,771 units in April, which compares to 6,501 units sold in the previous month and 5,713 in April 2011. These represent increases of 4.2 percent and 18.5 percent respectively.

The median sales price for all homes continues to stabilize. At $160,000 in April, the median price was down 1.8 percent from April of last year but 4.6 percent higher than in March when the median price was $153,000. The April-to-April change in median price was the smallest 12-month price decline in the last two years, RE/MAX reports. Its analysis is based on transaction information compiled by Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC.

The median sales price increased in three of the seven metro-area counties, as well as in the City of Chicago, when compared to April of last year. In DuPage County, the median price rose 10 percent to $209,000. The median price in Kane County was $153,000, a 9 percent gain, and Kendall County had an 11 percent increase to $165,000. The median price in Chicago climbed to $180,000 from $165,000, up 9 percent.

RE/MAX Northern Illinois spokesperson Laura Ortoleva said one important factor in the stabilization of home prices has been the decreasing inventory of Chicago-area homes for sale. The number of properties listed for sale fell 25 percent from the end of March to the end of April.

Another factor aiding prices, according to the RE/MAX analysis, was the continuing decline in the percentage of sales during March and April that involved distressed properties. Distressed sales, which include foreclosed homes and short sales, fell from 52 percent of all sales in February to 40 percent in April.

Home sales transactions increased in all seven metro-area counties during April when compared to the same month in 2011. For the second consecutive month, the greatest gains were in Will County (up 38 percent) and McHenry County (up 25 percent). Transaction volume rose 18 percent in Cook, 14 percent in DuPage, 22 percent in Kane, 8 percent in Lake and 1 percent in Kendall. In Chicago, home sales increased 18 percent.

The average time it took for a home sold in April to find a buyer was 172 days, compared to 184 days in April of last year. The average market time declined in each of the seven counties.

Detached Homes
Sales of detached homes were 16 percent higher in April than in the same month of 2011 rising to 4,255 units. April sales were 3.1 percent higher than in March of this year.

Six of the seven counties showed increases in detached sales compared to April 2011. Will County registered the largest increase, with a 38 percent gain. Sales were up 15 percent in Cook, 19 percent in DuPage, 20 percent in Kane, 5 percent in Kendall and 14 percent in McHenry. Sales in Chicago rose 14 percent. Lake County saw a slight decrease of 1.4 percent.

The median price of detached homes was nearly unchanged in April compared to a year ago, coming in at $176,500 compared to $177,000 in April 2011. The median price in March of this year was $169,000.

Three counties, DuPage, Kane and Kendall, recorded increases in the median sales price of detached homes. Kane had the biggest gain at 17 percent, followed by DuPage with 6 percent and Kendall with 4 percent. The other counties had declines in the median price that ranged from 13 percent in Lake and 4 percent in Cook to 2 percent in McHenry and 1 percent in Will. The median price in Chicago was down 0.4 percent.

Attached Homes
Sales of attached homes (primarily townhouses and condominium apartments) in the metro area rose an impressive 23 percent in April when compared to April 2011. Transaction volume in the seven-county area totaled 2,516 units compared to 2,044 a year earlier. April sales were also 6 percent higher than those in March of this year.

As in the detached home category, six of the seven counties showed an increase in sales activity, led by McHenry County where 60 closings constituted a 93 percent increase compared to April 2011. Also showing sizable increases on a year-over-year basis were Lake County (up 52 percent to 150 units), Will County (up 38 percent to 117 units) and Kane County (up 36 percent to 94 units). Transactions rose 22 percent in Cook to 1,790 units and 21 percent in Chicago, which accounted for 1,074 closings. Transaction volume rose 6 percent to 267 units in DuPage County but slipped 7 percent to 38 units in Kendall County.

The median price for attached homes sold in the seven-county area during March was $130,000, compared to $137,000 a year earlier and $123,550 during March of this year. The median price for attached sales rose in DuPage, Kane and McHenry counties, as well as in Chicago. The 9 percent increase in DuPage County, which resulted in a median of $122,500, was the largest gain. Kendall County had the most pronounced decline in median price, a 15 percent decrease to $91,000.

Filed under: Real Estate

Tags: market conditions, RE/MAX

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