After taking a breather in July, home sales in the seven-county metro Chicago real estate market were on the rise again in August, according to RE/MAX. August home sales totaled 11,802 units, up 8% from the 10,900 homes sold in August 2015. Sales had declined 7% in July.

The median sales price also increased, reaching $231,806, 5% higher than during the prior August. The average time required for a home sold in August to find a buyer was 76 days, 3 days more than in July of this year but the lowest figure for August since 2005 when the housing boom was in full swing.

"The sales increase was particularly encouraging in light of the fact that a relative shortage of inventory continues to be an issue in the Chicago area housing market," explained Jack Kreider, executive vice president and regional director of RE/MAX Northern Illinois. "The inventory of homes for sale was 10% lower at the end of August than it had been a year earlier, and that helps explain why homes are selling so quickly right now."

Kreider also noted that the Chicago-area market continued to work through its backlog of distressed homes. In August, distressed sales, which include foreclosures and short sales, represented 12.2 percent of all home sales. Two years earlier, distressed sales accounted for 20.4 percent of the total.

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