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Attractive Prices and Mild Weather Help Generate Brisk December Housing Sales Across Chicago Area

Chicago, IL, January 15, 2012 --( Aided by attractive prices, low interest rates and mild autumn weather that made late-season home shopping more pleasant than usual, the residential segment of the metropolitan Chicago real estate market closed 2011 with a solid month of sales. Home sales in the seven-county area totaled 6,010 units in December, 15.3 percent higher than in the same month of 2010 and 10 percent more than during the prior 30 days, according to an analysis by RE/MAX.

December home sales in the seven-county metro area, based on statistics compiled by Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC, were higher than in any of the prior three months and ranked fifth among all months in 2011. In comparison, December sales in 2010 ranked eighth for the year, while 2009 December sales came in seventh.

Sales in all seven counties were higher last month than in December 2010, with increases ranging from 34 percent in McHenry to 11 percent in Cook. Sales activity rose 5 percent in Chicago.

Even as transaction volume increased, home prices continued to slip. The median price of all homes sold in December was $145,000, down from $150,000 in November and $168,000 in December 2010.

The decline in median price, which was felt in all seven counties, was to some extent a function of an increase in the percentage of total sales represented by distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales). In December, distressed sales represented 45.8 percent of all sales, up from 43.1 percent in November. The median price for distressed sales in December was $87,500.

“The increase in distressed sales was largely driven by a surge in short sales, which totaled 1,031, the largest number of short sales completed during any month of 2011. That total was 51 percent higher than in December 2010, while sales of foreclosed properties came in 12 percent higher than they were a year earlier,” said Laura Ortoleva, a spokesperson for the RE/MAX Northern Illinois real estate network.

Homes sold in December spent an average of 174 days on the market, up modestly from 163 days in December 2010.

Detached Homes

December sales of detached homes in the seven-county area totaled 3,870 units, 15 percent more than during the same period in 2010 and 9 percent more than the November 2011 total.

The median sales price was $162,000, down 11 percent from December 2010 and 2 percent lower than in November 2011. The average market time for a detached home sold last month was 162 days, unchanged from the prior month but six days higher than the prior December.

Compared to December 2010, all seven counties saw an increase in the number of detached sales completed along with a decrease in the median price. McHenry County (up 31 percent) and Will County (up 29 percent) recorded the steepest increases in transactions. Cook County had the most modest gain, just 8 percent, due in good part to the results in Chicago, where sales of detached homes rose only 5 percent.

Results for the other counties were: DuPage up 15 percent, Kane up 21 percent, Kendall up 21 percent and Lake up 27 percent.

Attached Homes

Sales of attached homes increased by 15 percent in December when compared to the same month in 2010 and were 12 percent higher than in November. Sales totaled 2,140, with a median price of $115,000, 4 percent lower than the prior month and 21 percent lower than December 2010. The average time spent on the market by attached homes sold in December was 197 days, up from 184 days in November and 175 days a year earlier.

Six of the seven counties saw an increase in attached sales compared to December 2010, led by McHenry and Will counties with gains of 52 percent and 46 percent respectively. Other results: Cook up 14 percent, DuPage up 15 percent, Kane up 11 percent, Kendall up 34 percent and Lake down 8 percent. In Chicago, sales increased 5 percent.

Contact Information
RE/MAX Northern Illinois
Laura Ortoleva
847 428 4200

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