Rockford area home sales were up 23 percent in May, marking 12 straight months of sales gains, WREX Channel 13 reports.

“Marketwide home sales saw a full year run of month-over-month gains in May with the average price at its highest mark in eight months,” commented Steve Bois, CEO of Rockford Area Realtors. “The market is heading up, for many of the reasons we’ve been pointing out: interest rates are still jaw-droppingly low, distressed housing sales are keeping prices competitive and people are feeling better about the economy.”

In other news:

Wanted: A vacation property not too far from home. More buyers are in the market for a vacation home, but the new trend is buying one closer to home in order to cut travel time and costs, the Wall Street Journal reports.