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RISMEDIA, November 10, 2010—Home sales activity in the metropolitan Chicago real estate market registered a solid gain of 11% for the first nine months of 2010 when compared to the same period in 2009. That was achieved even as third-quarter transaction volume was 22.8% lower than the same period last year.

The sales figures, analyzed by RE/MAX, are for the seven-county Chicago metropolitan area and are based on information supplied by Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC. The seven-county metropolitan area includes the Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.

The median sales price for homes in the metro area during the January-September period was $190,000, 5.7% lower than the median of $201,500 recorded for the same months in 2009. However, the average price of homes sold was more resilient, falling just 1% to $255,684 from $258,354 a year earlier.

“The market can now fully appreciate the impact of the home buyer tax credit,” said Jim Merrion, regional director of the RE/MAX Northern Illinois real estate network. “Although it helped sales generally, especially sales of attached units (which consist primarily of condominium apartments and townhouses), once the tax credit expired, sales of attached units fell more sharply than sales of traditional detached homes. When you look at the first three quarters of 2010, attached homes registered a larger percentage sales increase than did detached homes.”

Detached Homes
Sales of detached homes were 34,922, up 10.6% for the January-September period in the metro area, while sales of attached homes increased 11.5% to 19,520 when compared to 2009 results. During the third quarter, however, sales of attached homes were 5,580, 28% below the 2009 level, while sales of detached homes dipped 19.9% to 10,793.

The average price of a detached home increased slightly to $266,444 for the first nine months of 2010 from $265,639 during the same period in 2009. For attached homes, the average price for the first nine months of the year slipped to $236,434 in 2010 from $245,215 in 2009, a 3.6% decline.

The average time on the market for detached homes sold during the third quarter was 148 days, down from 168 days a year earlier. The average market time of attached homes sold in the July-September period was 168 days, up from 165 days in 2009.

“The third-quarter slowdown in home sales was felt broadly,” said Merrion. “All seven counties in the metro area recorded an increase in sales activity for the first nine months of the year when compared to the same period in 2009, but all counties also showed declines in sales activity during the third quarter. Kane County turned in the best nine-month performance with a 31% total increase to 3,667 homes from 2,795 a year earlier.”

Of the 258 suburban market areas and 77 City of Chicago neighborhoods that RE/MAX tracks on a quarterly basis, 185 towns and 56 neighborhoods had increased sales activity during the January-September period when measured against 2009, but only 42 towns and 16 neighborhoods recorded gains in sales transactions when the third quarter of 2010 is compared to that same portion of 2009.

Sales of detached homes rose in six of the seven counties over the first nine months of 2010 when compared to the same period in 2009. Only Kendall County failed to record an increase, and then only because sales fell by one unit. Kane County led the gains with a 32.2% increase generated by 2,995 sales. It was followed by Lake County with an 11.9% gain on 3,861 sales.

The results in the other counties were: Cook up 10.4% to 17,946 units, DuPage up 8.1% to 4,095 units, McHenry up 7.7% to 1,688 units and Will up 2.9% to 3,536 units. Chicago recorded a 10% sales increase to 6,451 units.

In the third quarter, however, sales of detached homes fell well below the 2009 pace in all counties and in Chicago. Kane County had the smallest decline at 6.8% on 935 transactions. Lake County was next with a 16.6% dip in sales based on 1,248 transactions. Other results: Cook County down 20.6% to 5,486 homes, DuPage down 26.3% to 1,242 homes, McHenry down 20.1% to 508 homes, Kendall down 23.9% to 245 homes and Will down 20.4% to 1,129 homes.

Attached Homes
For the first three quarters of this year, sales of attached homes rose in six counties and in Chicago. Only Will County saw a decline in its total attached sales for the period. Kendall County, with just 313 sales, recorded the largest year-to-year increase at 41%. Kane was the other county showing a major increase for the nine-month period, with sales up 31% to 672 units.

More modest increases were recorded in four other counties: Cook County saw sales of attached homes rise 12.1% to 14,154 units. DuPage County sales rose 6.8% to 2,004 units. Lake County scored a 9.9% increase on 1,009 sales, and McHenry County experienced a 10.4% rise in attached sales to 435 units. Sales in Chicago rose 10.1% to 9,117 units.

Results for the third quarter, on the other hand, revealed a much slower market, with total attached sales in the metro area off 28% from the same three months of 2009. Only Kendall and Kane Counties recorded sales declines of less than 10% for the quarter, with Kendall falling 3.9% to 99 units and Kane down 5.9% to 207 units.

In Cook County, which accounted for about 80% of all sales of attached homes during the quarter, sales fell 26.9% to 4,085 units. More than half those sales took place in Chicago, and transaction activity declined 28.1% to 2,617 units.

Other third-quarter results: DuPage County recorded 554 sales, a 33.2% decline; 251 sales were completed in Will County, a 40% decline, and 264 sales in Lake County represented a 37.1% reduction. In McHenry County, 120 sales netted a decline in activity of 26.8%.

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