CHICAGO, July 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Home sales activity in the seven-county metropolitan Chicago real estate market registered noteworthy year-over-year gains during the first half of 2016 despite headwinds created by a limited supply of homes for sale, according to an analysis by RE/MAX. Metro-area home sales totaled 55,996 during that period, 7 percent more than the same period a year ago and the most for the first half of any year since 2006 when 60,285 homes were sold.
There was also good news on the home value front. The median sales price of a home in metro Chicago during the first half of 2016 was $225,000, 7 percent more than the comparable period last year and the highest first-half median price since 2008.
The inventory of homes for sale at the end of June was 37,457 units, 10 percent fewer than at the same point last year and equal to a four-month supply based on average monthly sales so far this year. The relative shortage of homes for sale was also reflected in the number of days a home spent on the market before going under contract. In June, average market time for homes sold in the metro area had fallen to 78 days.
"We are in an excellent environment for sellers, with prices trending upward and market times shortening," said Jack Kreider, executive vice president and regional director of RE/MAX Northern Illinois. "We hope the second half of this year will see a noticeable growth in inventory, especially of moderately priced homes, which is the segment of the market in which the supply is the tightest now."
One positive factor contributing to the shrinking inventory, explained Kreider, is a decline in distressed properties for sale. Distressed homes, which include foreclosures and short sales, accounted for 17 percent of first-half sales in the metro area this year, down from 25 percent last year and 32 percent two years ago.
The home sales data used for the RE/MAX analysis is collected by MRED, the regional multiple listing service. It covers detached and attached homes in the Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will. Detached homes are typically stand-alone single-family dwellings. Attached homes include condominium and cooperative apartments along with townhouses.
Sales gains varied considerably by county, ranging from a high of 18 percent in Kendall to a low of 3 percent in Will. On the other hand, increases in the median sales price were fairly consistent, ranging from 8 percent in Kane to 2 percent in Lake. In Chicago, sales activity rose 5 percent, and the median sales price climbed 3 percent.
Detached home sales for the first half of 2016 totaled 35,496 units in the metro area, with a median sales price of $239,900. Both results were a 7 percent increase over the same period last year.
Sales activity and the median sales price increased in all seven counties and Chicago. The average market time for detached homes was 105 days, five days less than in 2015. Kendall County saw the largest increase in sales, gaining 15 percent, while the median price rose most sharply in Chicago, up 14 percent to $210,000.
Sales of attached homes increased 7 percent to 20,500 units in the metro area, and the median sales price gained 4 percent to $190,000. However, county results showed considerable divergence. Sales activity rose 26 percent in Kendall and 24 percent in Kane, but gained just 5 percent in Cook, which accounted for 69 percent of all attached sales.
Median prices followed a similar pattern, with the collar counties seeing solid gains: 11 percent in Kane, 10 percent in Kendall and Will and 8 percent in McHenry. But the median price rose just 3 percent in Cook and declined 0.3 percent in Chicago.
The RE/MAX Northern Illinois network, with headquarters in Elgin, Ill., consists of more than 2,300 sales associates and 106 independently owned and operated RE/MAX offices that provide a full range of residential and commercial brokerage services. The northern Illinois network is part of RE/MAX, a global real estate organization with 104,000+ sales associates in 90+ nations.
RE/MAX Northern Illinois
SOURCE RE/MAX Northern Illinois