A lack of homes for sale in July, especially in the attached-home segment of the seven-county metropolitan Chicago real estate market, contributed to mixed results, according to an analysis by RE/MAX. The average time required for a home sold in July to find a buyer fell to just 73 days, the lowest figure for that month since 2005 at the height of the housing boom.

Faster sales also meant higher prices, with the July median sales price coming in at $240,000, 5% higher than in July 2015. However, the number of homes sold in July was 11,619, down 7% from the prior July total.

"The inventory of homes for sale at the end of July was 9.5% lower than a year ago, but not all segments of the market are short of listings," said Jack Kreider, executive vice president and regional director of RE/MAX Northern Illinois. "For example, there's an ample inventory of luxury homes, but moderately priced homes in good condition are scarce in some communities."

Although Cook County was the source of 53% of all July sales in the metro area, it accounted for 77% of the sales decline.

"In our view, much of that fall off in sales activity relates to the attached-home inventory, which was down 12% from July of last year, and that had a big impact in Chicago," said Kreider. "We're seeing relatively little new condo construction as developers focus on rental buildings."

The lack of inventory has encouraged buyers to move more quickly. Average market time was 80 days or less in all seven metro counties and just 66 days in Chicago.

The median sales price increased in six of the seven counties and in Chicago. The median rose 12% in Will, 10% in DuPage and Kendall, 5% in Cook, 4% in Kane and 3% in McHenry. Lake County registered a 2% reduction, while Chicago gained 2%.

Only in McHenry County were sales higher in July, gaining 8%. In addition to the 9% sales decline in Cook, sales dipped 8% in Kane, 7% in Will, 4% in DuPage and Kendall, 1% in Lake and 11% in Chicago.

Detached Homes

Sales of detached homes in the metro area were down 5% in July from the year-earlier total to 7,505 units. The median sales price gained 6% to $258,000, and average market time fell to 79 days.

Detached sales increased in two counties, gaining 8% in McHenry and 2% in Lake, but fell 9% in Kendall, 8% in Cook, 7% in Kane, 5% in Will, 2% in DuPage and 5% in Chicago.

Led by a 16% increase in Kane, the median sales price rose in five counties and was essentially unchanged in McHenry. The gains were 9% in Will and Kendall, 6% in Cook and DuPage. The median price fell 4% in Lake; in Chicago it rose 5%.

Attached Homes

Attached-home sales fell 10% compared to July of last year. Average market time shortened to 61 days, the lowest monthly market time for attached homes since RE/MAX began tracking that data in 2005.

Sales rose in two counties, gaining 15% in Kendall and 7% in McHenry, but fell 17% in Will, 11% in Cook and Lake, 9% in Kane and 7% in DuPage. Chicago had a 14% sales decline.

The median price of an attached home sold in July was $197,750, 3% more than July 2015. The median rose in six counties and was unchanged in Lake. Gainers were: Kendall up 10%, Will up 9%, Kane up 7%, McHenry up 5%, DuPage up 3% and Cook up 2%, while Chicago gained 4%.