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Regional Spotlight— The upbeat trend in home sales across the metropolitan Chicago real estate market continued unabated in June, according to an analysis by RE/MAX. June sales in the seven-county metro area totaled 9,077 units, 20 percent more than June of 2011.

Homes also were selling faster. The average time homes sold in June spent on the market before finding a buyer was 149 days, down from 169 days a year earlier, a 12 percent reduction.

Home prices were generally stronger. The median sales price for all attached and detached homes sold in June rose 3 percent to $185,000. The active inventory of homes for sale was 19 percent lower than it was a year earlier. The RE/MAX analysis is based on transaction information from Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC.

The favorable year-to-year comparisons for June sales were supported by the fact that the median price, total unit sales and average market time were all better than in May. The median price rose 8 percent, unit sales increased 10 percent and average market time fell by 11 days.

“Perhaps the most important positive sign that the real estate market is solidifying is that home prices are firming up at the same time days on the market are declining,” says Laura Ortoleva, a spokesperson for the RE/MAX Northern Illinois real estate network.

The percentage of sales involving distressed properties (short sales and foreclosures) continued to fall, coming in at just 33.5 percent in June, compared to 36 percent in May and a peak of 52 percent in February.

The number of homes sold increased in six of seven metro-area counties during June when compared to the same month in 2011. The greatest gains were in Lake County (up 27 percent) and DuPage County (up 26 percent). Sales in Cook County rose 22 percent, while McHenry County was up 11 percent. Will County gained 12 percent, and Kane County sales increased 8 percent. In Kendall County, sales dipped 13.4 percent, while sales activity in Chicago rose 19 percent for the second consecutive month.

The median sales price rose in five of the seven counties, including Cook, DuPage, Kendall, Lake and Will. The median price was also up in Chicago and unchanged in Kane County.

The average time it took for a home sold in June to go under contract declined in six counties and in Chicago, with Will County showing the largest improvement. Average market time there fell from 178 days a year ago to 129 days this June. In Kendall County the average market time rose from 150 to 169 days.

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