CHICAGO — It may be cold outside, but real estate in the Windy City is hot.
Home sales in Chicago jumped 22 percent over last year, according to a report released Thursday by the Illinois Association of Realtors.
Median home prices also saw a 5 percent bump to $185,000, the study said. The numbers reflect well on Chicago's market and could foreshadow more growth soon, Jon Broadbooks, director of communications for the IAR, told DNAinfo.com Chicago.
"For a while there, we were not seeing a significant level of real estate transactions for a lot of reasons," Broadbooks said. "The economy was down, a lot of people weren't selling their houses, financing was tough to get."
Now, Broadbooks said, the foreclosure crisis that left properties "bottlenecked in the courts" are flooding back into the market, which "sometimes puts a downward pressure on price."
Overall, he said these findings are a good sign.
"The number of houses that are going into foreclosure are being outpaced by the number of homes that are now being cleared by the foreclosure process," Broadbooks said.
Home sales were up 22 percent, to 1,750, in November 2012, compared to the same month the year before.
And this year, through November, there were 3,790 more homes sold around the city — a 22 percent gain as well, according to the report.
The condo market was also on fire, with a 36.2 percent increase in sales, to 1,047, in November 2012 over the same month the year before, the report said.
"I think there's a lot of optimism going into the year," Broadbooks said. "It's very clear from the numbers that people now feel comfortable with making a big purchase like a home."
In the greater Chicago area, the trend in sales prices was mixed.
Median prices were $5,100 higher from the November 2011 median price of $155,000. But for the year, median prices were down $5,000, to $160,000.