Metro Chicago Real Estate Sales Up in 2012

The year started off in the right direction with the metro Chicago real estate market seeing an upward trend in sales.
Throughout the seven-county metropolitan Chicago area, homes sales in January rose 14 percent over the same month of 2011 and recorded the highest January sales total since 2007, according to RE/MAX.
Five counties — Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will — each saw an increase in home sales last month of at least 22 percent while DuPage County rose 12.4 percent and Cook County increased 7.3 percent.
In the city of Chicago, January home sales rose 3.3 percent.
Unfortunately, the increases can be largely contributed to the sale of foreclosures and short sales, which accounted for 51.3 percent of all of January’s Chicago-area home sales. In January 2011, distressed properties accounted for 48.2 percent of all transactions.
While home sales are up, home prices have not yet stabilized in the new year; the median home price sold in the metro Chicago area in January was $140,000, which is 11.4 percent lower than the price in January of 2011.
Other statistics from RE/MAX for January 2012:
*The median sales price for detached homes fell in every county but DuPage, where the median price rose 1 percent to $237,450, the highest in the metro Chicago area. The median price in the city of Chicago actually rose 1.6 percent to $119,900.
*The median price for attached homes in the metro area was $115,000, 13.5 percent lower than January 2011, yet the median price rose in the city of Chicago (3 percent), Lake County (5 percent) and McHenry County (22 percent).
*Speaking of McHenry County, its detached-home sales surged 43 percent last month. Each of the seven counties saw a rise in this category, including Kendall (40 percent), Will (36 percent), Lake (22 percent), Kane (21 percent), Cook (3.3 percent) and DuPage (2.5 percent). The city of Chicago remained unchanged.
*The sale of attached homes rose 156 percent in McHenry County, where — to put it in perspective — 41 units were sold compared to 16 the year prior. Will County was down 5 percent in this category, but all the other counties posted increases: Cook (up 13 percent), DuPage (up 34 percent), Kane (up 30 percent), Kendall (up 33 percent), Lake (up 25 percent) and Chicago (up 6 percent).
“The fact that we are starting the year with a lower inventory of unsold homes than we had a year ago,” said Laura Ortoleva of RE/MAX Northern Illinois, “is a positive indicator that the market is stabilizing and moving forward.”