Home sales in Illinois jumped nearly 24% from year ago levels in August, the Illinois Association of Realtors said Wednesday.

The report comes at a time when housing analysts are seeing sales and price increases in some of the states hit hardest by the foreclosure crisis.

Parts of Illinois felt the sting of urban blight caused by foreclosures.

Yet, the state is improving overall, according to IAR statistics.

Statewide home sales hit 13,264 units in Illinois last month. That's up from 10,721 sales a year earlier and is a 7% gain from the 12,392 units sold in July. Meanwhile, the statewide median home sales price in Illinois edged down to $147,000 last month, a slight 0.7% drop from $148,000 a year ago.

"We continue to see strong sales despite uncertainty about the economy," said Loretta Alonzo, president of the Illinois Association of Realtors. "The data speak to pricing levels that continue to bring in homebuyers who are eager to take advantage of interest rates that haven’t budged much from already historically low levels."

The sharp year-over-year sales increase came at a time when the average 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central region in the state reached 3.60%, down from 4.26% last year.