• Home prices have been rising in the seven-county metro Chicago area for 33 months.
  • Sales rose in four counties and declined in three counties year-over-year.
  • Analysts see unmet demand in the attached homes segment.

Even though the seasonal slumber in home sales is in full effect, metro Chicago home prices continue to nudge upward. This lift continues a year-over-year trend that’s made sellers and agents smile for 33 consecutive months.

In the seven-county Chicago real estate market, October’s median sales price was $201,400, an 8 percent increase over October 2014. According to the number-crunchers at Re/Max Northern Illinois, that’s a whopping 44 percent above the median price of $140,000 recorded in February 2013 when the string of increases began.

Median sales prices have received a boost due to the steady decline in short sales or foreclosures. Distressed sales totaled 1,747 units in October of this year, 26 percent less than a year earlier.

Still, the distressed unit share constitutes a big part of the 9,057 units that moved in October. That’s 1 percent fewer closures than the total in October of 2014.

Tight inventory is still an issue in Chicagoland, as in much of the country. Still far below the six-month average that is considered homeostasis, attached home inventory, for one category, is 3.4 months.That category is carefully watched by the Re/Max group, as they consider that segment to have strong demand.

They point to the average time on market for that slice of the pie as a stronger indicator of what may be unmet demand. Time on market in October for the attached segment was 79 days. Average time on market for all inventory types slid a little in October, losing one day from last October’s 97 days.

Chicago-area industry experts opine that the market is in fact still very robust, but forces outside the usual suspects may be dragging it down.

“In our view, the Chicago-area housing market is actually stronger than the October unit numbers might suggest,” said Jim Merrion, regional director of the Re/Max Northern Illinois real estate network, in a statement. “New federal regulations governing closing procedures took effect in October, and that almost certainly slowed down the closing process for many transactions, pushing them back into November.”

October sales activity was a mixed bag in October, with sales increasing in four of the seven counties tallied. Sales in Chicago proper increased by less than one percentage point.

Sales rose in DuPage (3 percent), Kendall (2 percent), McHenry (12 percent) and Will (4 percent) counties. Declines were seen in Cook (1 percent), and Kane (16 percent) counties with an 8 percent drop in Lake County.

The October median sales price for all homes rose in all seven counties.

Email Kimberley Sirk.

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