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RISMEDIA, February 9, 2011—Home sales in the metro Chicago real estate market turned in their strongest 2010 performance in the north suburbs and Kane County, according to an analysis by the RE/MAX Northern Illinois real estate network of transaction data from MRED, LLC, the regional multiple listing service.

Overall, the home sales in the seven-county metro Chicago area managed only a modest gain in 2010 when compared to 2009, rising 0.4% to 69,187 transactions. However, a closer look reveals that sales in Lake and Kane Counties and some north and northwest suburban portions of Cook County were considerably stronger, rising a combined 7.6% for the year.

Looking only at Lake County and the north suburbs of Cook County (Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Golf, Kenilworth, Lincolnwood, Morton Grove, Northbrook, Northfield, Skokie, Wilmette and Winnetka), home sales in 2010 totaled 8,921, which is 8.2% higher than the 2009 total of 8,247.

Sales were higher in all 11 of the north suburbs in Cook County and in 22 of the 35 Lake County communities tracked by MRED in 2010; another two communities saw the level of sales unchanged. Considered on its own, the north suburban portion of Cook County saw home sales rise 19.1% last year.

Another segment of the suburban market that showed considerable strength was the suburbs south and east of O’Hare International Airport, including Rosemont, Franklin Park, Northlake, River Grove, Schiller Park, Norwood Park Township, Norridge, Elmwood Park, Harwood Heights and Leyden Township. Home sales there rose 9.9% in 2010 to 947 transactions, with eight of the 10 communities recording an increase in sales.

Kane County was the other major segment of the metro Chicago real estate market to see home sales increase in 2010. Sales in the county totaled 4,698 units, 16.4% more transactions than were completed in 2009. Of the 22 communities in Kane County tracked by MRED, 16 recorded an increased level of sales. Only Burlington, Montgomery and Sugar Grove experienced lower sales levels.

Across the seven-county area, RE/MAX looked at sales in 266 suburban areas and 77 neighborhoods in the City of Chicago. Sales for all of 2010 increased in 135 suburban areas, or roughly half the total, and were up in 34 city neighborhoods.

The picture was much different when looking only at sales activity in the final quarter of 2010. Home sales totaled 14,387, which was 28.1% fewer than the same three month period of 2009, but 6.8% more than during the same quarter of 2008.

Only 38 suburban areas and seven city neighborhoods recorded an increase in sales for the fourth quarter.

“Based on the fact that sales in the first six months of 2010 were considerably stronger than in the second half, I think we can expect to see 2011 sales totals trail those of 2010 through the first half of the year, but then I really do expect the situation to reverse itself,” said Jim Merrion, regional director of the RE/MAX Northern Illinois real estate network. “An improving regional economy with declining unemployment, which we are likely to see in the year ahead, coupled with the recent strength of the stock market, should give home buyers more confidence and lead the housing market in a more positive direction.”

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