• Many of the key indicators, as is the case across the country, are showing signs of a housing market that is regaining stable footing.
  • The news only gets better for sellers: Home prices continue to edge upward.
  • The third quarter average median price for all homes in the metro was $220,000, the best it’s been since 2008.

Sales in metro Chicago are still on the rise, with no sign of stalling.

But according to a new Re/Max report, growth is “gentle” and inventories are rising, indicating that the market is normalizing somewhat.

According to the report, sales in Chicagoland are moving forward at a pace that’s 8 percent greater than the same time last year.

Sales for the third quarter totaled 32,926 homes changing hands. For the first nine months of 2015, 85,325 owners turned their house keys over to someone else. That’s the best January through September since 2006.

Many of the key indicators, as is the case across the country, are showing signs of a housing market that is regaining stable footing. This includes inventory levels, which on Oct. 1 measured a 4.3 supply of available homes. Back on July 1, the inventory was equal to just a 3.2 month supply of homes. Sales of distressed properties are easing off, with 17 percent of all sales coming from the foreclosure and short sale pools, down from 29.5 percent two years ago.

When buyers find a home they like in Chicago, they’re acting relatively fast. The average time on the market in the third quarter was the same as in the second quarter of this year, at 81 days on the market. This was bested only during the red-hot market in 2005, where homes on the market in the third quarter lasted a mere 75 days.

The news only gets better for sellers: Home prices continue to edge upward.

The third quarter average median price for all homes in the metro was $220,000. That’s the best it’s been since 2008, and 4 percent higher than a year earlier. Detached homes are fetching a median price of $235,000, which is 2 percent more than from the same period last year.

Attached homes, although fewer in number, are also seeing increases. In the third quarter, 12,045 units of that type were sold, as opposed to about 21,000 detached units, but still a 7 percent increase. The median sales price rose 6 percent, to $185,000.

The city of Chicago proper plays a big role in the overall numbers. The median price there bumped up a little, jumping  3 percent to $270,000. Homes sold within the city limits are a quarter of the third quarter sales.  

“The Chicago area enjoyed strong housing activity during the first half of this year,” said Jim Merrion, regional director of the Re/Max Northern Illinois real estate network, in a prepared statement. “Third quarter results suggest that rather than continued acceleration, what we are seeing now is a market moving ahead at a normal pace, with both values and unit sales rising gently, which provides stability to the market.”

Re/Max gets these numbers from MRED, the regional multiple listing service. The data includes detached and attached homes in the Illinois counties of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.

The Re/Max Northern Illinois network consists of more than 2,250 sales associates and 105 independently owned and operated Re/Max offices. The northern Illinois network is part of Re/Max, a global real estate organization with 100,000+ sales associates in 90-plus nations.

Email Kimberley Sirk.

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