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Champaign Area Home Sales Show Modest Decline in January

Median Home Sale Price Increases

             Champaign County area home sales declined modestly in January while gains were reported in the area median home sale price, according to the Champaign County Association of REALTORS® (CCAR).

CCAR reports a total of 140 residential homes were sold in January, down slightly from 142 home sales in January of 2016.

            The median home sale price in January of 2017 for the Champaign County area was $139,000 up from $138,700 in January of 2016.  The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half for less.

The average home sale price in January was $154,868, down from $159,278 in January of 2016.

“Warmer temperatures this winter have bolstered home sales activity in the Champaign county area and have kept sales on a steady pace,” said Jim Waller, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.  “Today’s mortgage rates are probably lower than they will be at the end of 2017 as expectations are that rates could be near the 4.5 percent mark or higher by the end of this year.”

The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage for the month of January according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) was 4.15 percent, up from 3.87 percent in January of 2016 and down from 4.22 percent in December 2016.

“Spring is right around the corner, just a few weeks away and we may see an even busier first quarter than normal as buyers are eager to make their purchase before interest rates move higher,” Waller said. “Given that, sellers need to be ready to list their home now before the start of the spring home-buying season and work with a REALTOR® who can help guide you through the process of effectively pricing your home in this competitive marketplace.”

Nationally, existing home sales are forecast to expand 1.7 percent in 2017. "Consistent strong job gains and a growing share of millennials entering their prime buying years is laying the foundation for robust buyer demand in 2017," said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist at realtor.com®. "However, buyers with a lower maximum affordable price are seeing heavy competition for the fewer listings they can afford. At a time of higher borrowing costs, this situation could affect affordability even more as buyers battle for a smaller pool of homes and bid prices upward."

According to Dr. Geoffrey Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois, the median price forecast indicates moderate annual growth in both Illinois and the Chicago PMSA for January, February and March. “Consumers appear to be waiting to see what the new President and Congress plan for the economy,” said Hewings. “As a result, it may be several months before there is an appreciable impact on the housing market. Prices and sales are expected to continue experiencing modest gains over the first quarter.” See more of Hewings forecast reports for Illinois REALTORS at http://www.illinoisrealtor.org/marketstats/forecasts.

“An improving national economy should be a positive sign for the 2017 Champaign area housing market, although the state budget impasse could put pressure on the area’s economic confidence,” said Waller.

The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade organization involving Champaign County and surrounding area and is a leading resource for its 470 REALTOR® members and an advocate for homeownership and private property rights. Statistics are from local regions of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS® which covers Champaign County and surrounding areas. Data compiled by Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC, as available on Feb. 21, 2017. Go to www.illinihomes.com to preview upcoming open houses scheduled.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017/Categories: News Releases