The Chicago area ended 49 months of median price decreases in May as the entire state experienced a 22.1% jump in home sales when compared to the previous year, the Illinois Association of Realtors said Thursday.

Last month, the state recorded 11,984 home sales, compared to 9,815 a year earlier.  In Chicago alone, sales totaled 2,037, up 19.6% from 1,703 homes sold in May 2011.

The state's association of realtors said May's sales performance is the best on record since 2007. Illinois' median sales price also edged up 3.6% year-over-year, hitting $145,000.

"If there was any uncertainty about whether the housing market was going to hold up as we moved deeper into the year, that’s been dispelled," said Loretta Alonzo, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors. "To have such a strong statewide showing later in the spring selling season, and to see the Chicago area snap a 49-month trend of median price decreases is huge news. All the indicators seem to reflect a stabilizing housing market, which is a strong contributor to a broader economic recovery."

The sales surge was supported by record low interest rates with the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage in the state's central region hovering at 3.83%, down from 3.89% a month earlier and 4.67% last year.

kpanchuk@housingwire.com