North Shore real estate experiences the 8th consecutive month of home sales increases, according to reports released by the Illinois Association of REALTORS®! The 15.1 percent increase in North Shore sales is the strongest report since 2008 housing data.

Several factors contributed to the North Shore sales increases, including quick movement of distressed properties through the legal system, interest rates remaining at historic lows (The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the Chicago-North Shore region was 3.91 percent in February 2012) and prices that are seen by many North Shore consumers as a once-in-a-lifetime buying opportunity.

Statewide home sales including Chicago’s North Shore-Cook County (single-family homes and condominiums, foreclosure, short sale properties included) in February 2012 totaled 6,487 homes sold, up 15.1 percent from 5,634 home sales in February 2011. The statewide median price in February was $117,000, down 8.2 percent from $127,500 in February 2011.

“People seem to be feeling better about where the economy is going,” said Loretta Alonzo, CRB, GRI, president of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® “When you have interest rates and housing prices this low homebuyers are highly motivated to get back into the market.

” This spring surge is typical in a cyclical housing market with activity levels high when the weather warms. However, this year’s spring surge is stronger and came earlier than last year, according to Hewings- Dr. Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, University of Illinois. He added that the U.S. unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.3, a sign of stability in the economy.

In the nine-county Chicago-North Shore-Cook County Primary Metropolitan Statistical Area (PMSA), home sales (single family and condominiums) in February 2012 totaled 4,325 homes sold, up 14.8 percent from February 2011 sales of 3,769 homes. The median price in February 2012 was $135,000 in the Chicago PMSA, down 11.5 percent compared to last year in February when it was $152,500.

Sales and price analytics are generated by the North Shore Multiple Listing Service closed sales reported by 31 participating north shore realtors- Illinois REALTOR® local boards and associations including Midwest Real Estate Data LLC data as of March 7, 2012 through April 2012; and for the period February 1 through February 29, 2012.

Find Illinois housing statistics, reports, analysis, area conditions data and projections at the University of Illinois REAL forecast at   You may also stop by our Coldwell Banker office, located in downtown Glencoe, IL for updates on North Shore homes for sale, North Shore property sales, or to get other real estate related trends. We are your valued North Shore Realtors resource.