Home prices firming, days on market declining per RE/MAX study

The following market update arrived via a news release from RE/MAX Northern Illinois:

The upbeat trend in home sales across the metropolitan Chicago real estate market continued unabated in June, according to an analysis by RE/MAX. June sales in the seven-county metro area totaled 9,077 units, 20 percent more than June of 2011.

Homes also were selling faster. The average time homes sold in June spent on the market before finding a buyer was 149 days, down from 169 days a year earlier, a 12 percent reduction.

Home prices were generally stronger. The median sales price for all attached and detached homes sold in June rose 3 percent to $185,000. The active inventory of homes for sale was 19 percent lower than it was a year earlier. The RE/MAX analysis is based on transaction information from Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC.

The favorable year-to-year comparisons for June sales were supported by the fact that the median price, total unit sales and average market time were all better than in May. The median price rose 8 percent, unit sales increased 10 percent and average market time fell by 11 days.

“Perhaps the most important positive sign that the real estate market is solidifying is that home prices are firming up at the same time days on the market are declining,” said Laura Ortoleva, a spokesperson for the RE/MAX Northern Illinois real estate network.

The percentage of sales involving distressed properties (short sales and foreclosures) continued to fall, coming in at just 33.5 percent in June, compared to 36 percent in May and a peak of 52 percent in February.

The number of homes sold increased in six of seven metro-area counties during June when compared to the same month in 2011. The greatest gains were in Lake County (up 27 percent) and DuPage County (up 26 percent). Sales in Cook County rose 22 percent, while McHenry County was up 11 percent. Will County gained 12 percent, and Kane County sales increased 8 percent. In Kendall County, sales dipped 13.4 percent, while sales activity in Chicago rose 19 percent for the second consecutive month.

The median sales price rose in five of the seven counties, including Cook, DuPage, Kendall, Lake and Will. The median price was also up in Chicago and unchanged in Kane County.

The average time it took for a home sold in June to go under contract declined in six counties and in Chicago, with Will County showing the largest improvement. Average market time there fell from 178 days a year ago to 129 days this June. In Kendall County the average market time rose from 150 to 169 days.

Detached Homes
Sales of detached homes totaled 5,861 units in June, up 18 percent compared to the same month last year and 12 percent higher than in May of this year.

Sales of detached homes increased in six of the seven counties compared to June 2011. The steepest increase, 27 percent, was in Lake County. As for the other counties, sales were up 23 percent in DuPage, 19 percent in Cook, 15 percent in McHenry, 11 percent in Will and 6 percent in Kane. In Kendall County, sales dropped 8 percent. Sales in Chicago were up 8 percent.

The median sales price for detached homes in the metro area was $208,500 last month, up 4 percent from June of last year and 11 percent higher than in May of this year.

The median sales price for all detached homes rose in five of the seven counties and in Chicago when compared to June 2011. The gainers included Will County (up 8 percent), Lake County (up 6 percent), Cook County (up 5 percent), and DuPage and Kane counties (up 2 percent). For the second month in a row, Kendall and McHenry counties each had a lower median price this year than in the same month last year. The median sales price for detached homes sold in Chicago rose 3 percent to $155,000.

Attached Homes
After gaining 26 percent in May, sales of attached homes (primarily townhouses and condominium apartments) rose 24 percent in June compared to the same month last year, confirming that the market for attached homes has shaken off the lethargy that dampened activity in 2011. Transaction volume in the seven-county area totaled 3,216 units compared to 2,594 a year earlier and 3,031 during the prior month.

June sales of attached homes were higher in five of seven counties compared to the prior June, with Cook (up 26 percent), Lake (up 29 percent) and DuPage (up 32 percent) showing especially robust activity. Those three counties accounted for 89 percent of all attached-home sales in June. Attached sales also rose 15 percent in Will County and 17 percent in Kane County, but fell 24 percent in Lake County, 25 percent in Kendall County and 9 percent in McHenry County. In Chicago, sales of attached homes were 26 percent higher in June than during the same month of 2011.

The median price for attached homes sold in the seven-county area during June was $141,000, unchanged from the prior month and down 6 percent from the median price for June 2011. The median price for attached homes fell in six of the seven counties, but rose 4 percent in DuPage County and 3 percent in Chicago. The decline in McHenry County was 13 percent and was 11 percent in Lake County. The median price fell 7 percent in Will County, 5 percent in Kane County, 2 percent in Kendall County and 1 percent in Cook County.

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