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February Home Sales Signal Strong Start to Spring

Champaign County Area Homes Sales Up 27 Percent in February

 

            The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® reported strong gains in both home sales and pending home sales in the Champaign County area in February signaling an early start to the spring housing market. Double-digit gains were reported in residential home sales activity. The number of home sales in February totaled 154, up 27.27 percent from 121 sales in February 2015. There were 270 pending home sales reported during February, up from 197 reported in February 2015, a gain of 37.05 percent. Pending sales reflect the number of active listings that went under contract and are waiting closing (usually 30 to 60 days in the future).

            The median home sale price (for all single-family homes and condominiums) was $125,000 in February, down 11.28 percent from $140,900 reported in February 2015. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

            As of March 16th, there were 1,285 single-family residential listings on the market.

            "Mild winter weather conditions have certainly been a factor in keeping the momentum advancing in the Champaign area housing market this year. This strong surge in home sale activity along with the pending home sales volume in February is a very encouraging sign heading into the spring months," said Stefanie Pratt, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. "We've got an early start to the spring housing market this year with buyers ready to take advantage of attractive, low mortgage rates.

            "With programs out there that provide downpayment and closing cost assistance, such as the Illinois Housing Development Authority programs, buyers are able to lock in a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at a competitive interest rate. Solid job gains and pent up demand on the part of millennials are attributing to the uptick in household formations."

            Total dollar sales volume for residential real estate sales for the month of February this year was $22,330,997, up 14.65 percent from $19,475,900 in February 2015. Year-to-date dollar sales volume stood at $44,948,423, up 6.40 percent from $42,241,994 in February 2015.

            "This is the time of year for de-cluttering and cleaning from the inside out including the yard, front exterior doorways and sidewalks and driveways as curb appeal makes a difference as you get ready to show your property," said Pratt, a broker with Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell in Champaign. "As momentum continues to advance this spring, those sellers who act quickly to get their home listed can actually benefit from more exposure to buyers but overpricing in this market will mean taking longer to sell. If you are planning to buy or sell this spring, meet with a local REALTOR® soon to help evaluate your opportunities in the market as the spring season is expected to be a busy one."

          Urbana sales were higher this February as compared to a year ago with 33 sales reported versus 12 in February 2015. The Champaign/Savoy region reported 60 sales, at the same level as one year ago.

            The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), was 3.66 percent in the month of February, down from 3.87 in January 2016 and down from 3.68 percent in February 2015.          

            “Nationally, consumers seem more optimistic about selling a house than buying one; with the continuing budget impasse in Springfield, concerns about job retention are likely to dampen housing demand.  The first quarter of 2016 should provide a key to the impact of the state’s economy on the housing market,” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the University of Illinois in his February housing market forecast.   

            The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade organization serving Champaign County and surrounding area and is a 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.

Thursday, March 17, 2016/Categories: News Releases