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Illinois home sales up in July

Many people purchased new homes in the north Chicago suburbs in July.

Many people purchased new homes in the north Chicago suburbs in July.

Moving trucks will be a common sight in the suburbs north of Chicago, according to a recent Illinois Association of Realtors report.

At 9,708 units sold, July home sales in Illinois were up 18.4 percent on a year-over-year basis. In the nine-county Chicago metropolitan area, sales rose 19.2 percent compared to July 2010, to hit 6,625 completed transactions.

Geoffrey Hewing, director of the Univerity of Illinois Regional Economics Applications Laboratory, predicted year-over-year sales increases throughout the fall, on the basis of low mortgage interest rates and house prices. The median statewide sales price in July was $153,000, down from $159,000 a year ago.

Sheryl Whitehurst, IAR president, said stricter mortgage lending standards are constraining sales, but "motivated buyers" can find exceptional deals.

Sales in Lake County, which includes the well-to-do north Chicago suburbs of Highland Park and Lake Forest, were up 35.7 percent on a year-over-year basis. This could indicate the Chicago luxury market is rebounding at a faster rate than the market as a whole, which would comport with data from around the country. The Detroit News recently reported high-end sales up in that metro area. Coldwell Banker numbers indicated San Francisco Bay area luxury sales spiked in June, though they have since cooled, according to DataQuick.