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Home sales activity in the metropolitan Chicago real estate market during November delivered another indication that a gradual increase in the number of homes changing hands is beginning to help stabilize home prices, according to an analysis by RE/MAX of sales statistics gathered by Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC.

November home sales in the seven-county metro area totaled 5,408 units, 19 percent more than a year ago. Compared to sales in the prior month, November transactions were down 6 percent, a favorable result when considering that the average decline in sales from October to November during the prior five years was 13 percent.

The median home sales price in the Chicago area for November was $150,000, 14 percent lower than in November 2010. However, the median was unchanged from the prior month, and in six of the seven counties in the metro area, the median sale price rose in November when compared to the prior month. Those six counties were DuPage (up 7 percent), Kane (up 4 percent), Kendall (up 8 percent), Lake (up 1 percent), McHenry (up 6 percent) and Will (up 1 percent).

Homes sold in November spent an average of 170 days on the market, one day more than in the same month last year. Distressed properties, including foreclosures and short sales, accounted for 43 percent of all November sales compared to 44 percent in October.

Cook County home sales totaled 3,109 in November. They represented 57 percent of total metro-area sales for the month and were 19 percent higher than in November 2010. The other six counties all recorded sales increases on the same basis: DuPage up12 percent, Kane up 19 percent, Kendall up 29 percent, Lake up 16 percent, McHenry up 31 percent and Will up 20 percent.

Detached Homes

Sales of detached homes in the seven-county area totaled 3,532 units and were 16 percent higher in November than in the same month last year. Compared to October sales, the November total fell 5 percent.

The median sales price was $165,000, down 11 percent from November 2010 and 2.4 percent lower than in October 2011. The average market time for a detached home increased by one day to 162 days.

Compared to activity a year earlier, the largest percentage increases in home sales were in Kendall County (up 34 percent), McHenry County (up 25 percent) and Lake County (up 21 percent), as well as in the City of Chicago, where sales also rose 21 percent. Results for the other counties were: Cook up 15 percent, DuPage up 9 percent, Kane up 18 percent and Will up 15 percent.

Cook was the only one of the seven counties where sales activity for detached homes increased from October to November. Sales in the county totaled 1,779 units, up 2.5 percent from the prior month, a gain triggered by much stronger sales in Chicago. November sales of detached homes rose 20 percent in the city to 664 units, and the median price increased 4 percent to $134,950.

Attached Homes

Sales of attached homes were up sharply in November when compared to the same month last year. Sales totaled 1,876 units, a 24 percent increase. The median price of $120,000 was down 22 percent from the prior year but unchanged from the prior month. Average market time for units sold in November was 184 days, three days more than in November 2010.

“As the 22 percent decline in the median price suggests, attached home values have suffered during the last year, but there’s a chance we are getting the worst of that situation behind us,” said Laura Ortoleva, a spokesperson for the RE/MAX Northern Illinois real estate network. “The median price of attached homes sold in November was unchanged from October. At the same time, the average sales price actually rose 7 percent from the prior month, the first time that has happened in November since 2007.”

All seven counties saw gains in attached sales compared to November 2010, led by McHenry and Will counties with gains of 77 percent and 41 percent respectively. Other results: Cook up 25 percent, DuPage up 18 percent, Kane up 25 percent, Kendall up 17 percent and Lake up 1 percent.

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