Home sales in Chicago area up, renters look to buy

May 22, 2012

Jewell Washington

New data released Tuesday shows home sales around Chicago are good.

The Illinois Association of Realtors revealed more than 6,800 homes sold in April, a 19 percent increase from April 2011.

Geoffrey Hewings, an economist at the University of Illinois, said the numbers are even attracting Chicago renters looking to buy.

“People who are renting… really contemplate buying a place because they can probably get more space at less monthly costs,” he said.

But Hewings said home prices are not improving as much as home sales.

The median price for a home last month was up just 1.5 percent compared to a year ago, according to the report.

Hewings said that’s because foreclosures are still a problem and the job market remains unstable.