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Home sales jump to highest since May 2010

Home sales were robust January 2013.

Home sales were robust in January 2013.

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Southland sales

August sales data for select Southland communities.

Chicago Heights — Sales of 31 homes last month compared with 15 in August 2011, and the median sale price of $65,000 was up more than 8 percent from a year earlier.

Oak Lawn — There were 37 existing single-family homes sold last month, up 19 percent from a year earlier. The median price last month was $145,000, down almost 9 percent compared with August 2011.

Orland Park — Sales of 41 homes last month marked an increase of almost 37 percent from a year earlier, but the median sale price of $262,000 was down nearly 9 percent from August 2011.

Tinley Park — There were 26 homes sold last month, an increase of 18 percent from a year earlier. The median price was $230,000, up 13 percent from a year earlier.

Source: Mainstreet Organization of Realtors.

Updated: October 21, 2012 2:42PM



WASHINGTON — A jump in sales of previously occupied homes and further gains in home construction suggest the U.S. housing recovery is gaining momentum.

Sales of previously occupied homes rose 7.8 percent in August from July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.82 million, the National Association of Realtors said Wednesday. That’s the highest level since May 2010, when sales were aided by a federal home-buying tax credit.

The median home price in August was $187,400, 9.5 percent higher than in August 2011 and the largest year-over-year price increase since January 2006.

At the same time, builders broke ground on 2.3 percent more homes and apartments in August than July. The Commerce Department said the annual rate of construction rose to a seasonally adjusted 750,000. The increase was driven the best rate of single-family home construction since April 2010.

In the Chicago metro area, sales of existing single-family homes and condominiums rose more than 28 percent in August, with 9,240 units sold, the Illinois Association of Realtors reported. The median sale price was down nearly 4 percent, however, to $170,00, the Springfield-based group said.

Nationally, the number of first-time homebuyers, who are critical to a housing rebound, slipped to 31 percent from 34 percent. In a typical market, that figure is usually closer to 40 percent. Strict credit standards are making it harder for many first-time buyers to qualify for mortgages.

More Americans appear to be taking advantage of near-record low mortgage rates and prices that are, on average, much lower than they were six years ago.

Homes are selling more quickly than a year ago. The median amount of time that a home spent on the market was 70 days in August, the Realtors’ group said. A year ago, the median timeframe was 92 days a year ago.



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