After months of making steady progress, the housing recovery in the seven-county metropolitan Chicago real estate market kicked into a higher gear in April, according to an analysis by Re/Max.
Compared to the previous April, total sales of attached and detached homes increased 32 percent, while the median price of a home sold during the month climbed 9 percent, and it took an average of 44 fewer days for those homes to find a buyer.
The Re/Max analysis is based on home sales reported by Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC, the regional multiple listing service. Home sales reported for the month of April totaled 9,046 units, up from 6,869 a year ago. The median sales price rose to $175,000 from $160,000 a year earlier.
Sales activity rose in all seven counties in the metro Chicago market last month when compared to activity levels of April 2012, with Lake County turning in especially impressive results. Lake County sales were up 49 percent to 877 units, while the median sales price rose 15 percent to $187,000. Sales gains elsewhere in the metro area were as follows: up 31 percent in Cook County to 5,207 units; up 29 percent in Chicago to 2,373 units; up 37 percent in DuPage County to 1,076 units; up 31 percent in Kane County to 640 units; up 25 percent in Kendall County to 180 units; up 43 percent in McHenry County to 408 units, and up 8 percent in Will County to 657 units.
In addition to Lake County, the median home sales price climbed in four counties and Chicago. Cook County recorded a 12 percent increase to $172,750. In DuPage, the median price climbed 3 percent to $215,450. In McHenry, it was up 2 percent to $148,950, and in Will it advanced 10 percent to $170,000. Chicago enjoyed the largest increase in the April median price with a striking 22 percent gain to $219,900.
The median price declined 2 percent in Kane to $151,950 and fell 4 percent in Kendall to $156,650.
“One likely factor in the general increase in median price was that short sales and foreclosures accounted for a lower percentage of total sales this April than they had a year ago,” said Laura Ortoleva, media spokeswoman for Re/Max in northern Illinois.
“Sales of those distressed homes represented 37 percent of all April home sales, down from 40 percent in April of last year and 43 percent in March of this year,” Ortoleva said.
April sales of detached homes in the metro area totaled 5,678 units, compared to 4,312 a year earlier, an increase of 32 percent. The median sales price for those homes rose 8 percent to $190,625, its highest level since last July. Average market time continued to shorten, coming in at 128 days compared to 165 days during the prior April.
Both sales activity and the median sales price registered strong gains in the detached-home segment in all seven metro counties, as well as in Chicago. Transaction activity rose 53 percent in Lake County to 671 units and 45 percent in McHenry County to 329 units when compare to April of last year. Transaction gains in the other counties were as follows: 32 percent in Cook to 2,836 units, 37 percent in DuPage to 703 units, 29 percent in Kane to 508 units, 18 percent in Kendall to 125 units and 3 percent in Will to 506 units. Transactions climbed 24 percent in Chicago to 926 units.
As for median prices, the largest gain was 22 percent in Lake County to $227,701. Results for the other counties were as follows: Cook up 9 percent to $172,218; DuPage up 2 percent to $270,000; Will up 11 percent to $185,000; Kendall up 5 percent to $190,250; McHenry up 5 percent to $170,000, and Kane up 2 percent to $179,950. In Chicago, the median price of a detached home increased 16 percent to $155,000.
April sales of attached homes also were up 32 percent compared to the same month in 2012. Closed sales totaled 3,368 units in the metro Chicago real estate market, and the average market time shrank to 129 days from 186 days last year, meaning that homes required nearly two months less time to sell than they did a year ago. The median sales price climbed 8 percent to $140,000, the highest median price recorded since June of last year.
All seven counties and Chicago registered gains in transaction volume with gains of at least 19 percent. Kendall County led the way with a 45 percent increase to 55 units. Cook County, which is the dominant county for attached-home sales in the metro area, had a 30 percent increase in activity to 2,371 units, including 1,446 in Chicago, where the increase was 32 percent. Results in the other counties were as follows: DuPage up 37 percent to 373 units; Kane up 38 percent to 132 units; Lake up 36 percent to 206 units; McHenry up 34 percent to 79 units, and Will up 28 percent to 151 units.
The median price climbed in five counties and in Chicago, with Chicago turning in the best performance. There the median sales price rose to $270,250, up 22 percent from April 2012. Results for the seven counties were as follows: Cook up 17 percent to $175,000; DuPage up 2 percent to $125,000; Kane down 16 percent to $108,750; Kendall up 21 percent to $110,000; Lake up 10 percent to $120,875; McHenry down 23 percent to $78,000, and Will up 10 percent to $121,000.