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Buyer Demand Still Evident in Champaign County Area

Even While Sales Dip Slightly in September

The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® reports area home sales were down slightly in September while year-to-date sales are still ahead of last year's pace. CCAR reports there were 218 residential home sales in September, down 3.96 percent from 227 reported in September of 2013. CCAR year-to-date sales through September of 2014 totaled 2,091, reflecting an increase of 1.01 percent from 2,070 a year ago.

            Year-to-date sales volume stood at $338,551,283.00 up from $328,232,675.00 from a year ago. Pending home sales for the month of September were up 27.92 percent from the same period a year ago. There were 197 residential pending sales reported, up from 154 pending sales reported in September 2013. Pending sales for the month of September reflects a total number of active listings that went under contract and are awaiting closing, usually 30 to 60 days in the future.

            The median home sale price (for all single-family homes and condominiums) in September stood at $137,000 down 3.52 percent from $142,000 from September a year ago.

             The year-to-date median sale price through September was $139,000 up .36 percent from $138,500 during the same period in 2014. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half for less.

            "Consumers are feeling more confident in recent months due to the improving labor market. While home sales are off just slightly by only 9 sales from a year ago, the pending home sales volume is a strong indicator of the overall strength of the housing market as we head into the final months of 2014. Last week, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rates averaged 4.10 percent for the North Central Region as reported by Freddie Mac, near the lowest average for the year," said Jeffrey Barkstall, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.  "Foot traffic continues to be strong throughout the area. There is still a lot of pent-up demand in buyer activity, though we are also seeing buyers spending more time in their home search process before committing to their home purchase."

            In September, 50.45 percent of homes sold in the Champaign area were priced at or below the median price of $137,000.

            "We are seeing more inventory sold in lower price ranges and that is impacting our median home sale price growth. But, at the same time that is helping to keep homes affordable especially for those new first-time buyers. We anticipate a pick-up in median price performance in the next few months."

            The average rate on a fixed rate mortgage for the North Central Region, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) was 4.16 percent in September down from 4.50 percent in September 2013 and down from 4.11 in August.

            The city of Urbana home sales activity increased 38.46 percent to 36 sales compared to 26 sales a year ago. The west region which includes the city of Mahomet reported 43 sales in September up 30.30 percent from 33 sales from a year ago.

            According to the University of Illinois Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the Government and Public Affairs, the statewide sales forecast for September, October and November 2014 suggests a downtrend on an annual basis. Annually, the three-month average forecasts point to a change of between -9.4% and -7.0% for Illinois.

            "Analysis reveals that the decrease (on an annual basis) in the statewide sales can be attributed to the decline in foreclosure sales; regular sales are almost at last year's level," noted Geoffrey J. D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois in the September forecast for the Illinois Association of REALTORS®,.

            The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade organization serving the Champaign County and surrounding areas, and is the leading resource for REALTOR® members and an advocate for homeownership and private property rights. Statistics were compiled from local regions of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service which covers Champaign County and surrounding areas.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014/Categories: News Releases