The suburbs of Chicago offer affordable housing and great public transit options

Buyers may be interested in purchasing homes for sale in Chicago, IL, or surrounding suburbs in the coming months, according to various experts. In the nine-county Chicago area, single-family home and condominium sales rose approximately 23.8 percent in March 2012, compared to numbers seen a year ago, the Illinois Association of Realtors reports.

In the past month, and for much of 2012, the Chicago area's housing market has seen a stir of comforting signs that a recovery is just around the corner. Homebuyers have entered the market and invested in properties at bargain prices, relieving some of the distressed listings hindering the overall housing mend.

Median home prices were down 2.9 percent from March 2011, falling to $151,850, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Several state and local real estate experts say they believe the purchasing surge may be directly related to rising gas prices. People may be more inclined to invest in properties just outside of the Greater Chicago area to take advantage of mass transit opportunities. According to The State Journal-Register, the city of Springfield is a popular destination for many buyers due to its proximity to transportation, the city and its affordable listings.

People who want to take advantage of the many attractive resources Chicago has to offer, but don't want to live in a busy downtown area, may want to consider moving into available properties just outside the city limits.