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Champaign County Home Sales Rebound in February

Sales SIgnal Early Start to Spring Buying Market

            Residential home sales activity in Champaign County stepped up in February with an early start to the spring housing market, according to the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. The number of home sales totaled 135 in Champaign County, up 5.5 percent from 128 sales in February of 2016.

            The median home sale price (for all single-family homes and condominiums) was $145,000 up 11.5 percent from $130,000. The median is a typical market price where half the home sold for more and half sold for less.

            CCAR reported 49 home sales in city of Champaign and 29 home sales in Urbana in February.

            “The start of the year ushered in a wave of good news about a positive stock market, higher wages and an active home sales environment,” said Jim Waller, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.  “Higher consumer confidence in the economy is translating into better feelings about households’ financial situation. Spring Champaign area home sales are in bloom as prices continue to gain traction.”

            The average home sale price in February was $163,961 up 9.4 percent from $149,898 in February 2016.

            “Tighter inventory supplies will mean increased competition for buyers as  the market heads further into the spring months,” said Waller. “Sellers who are thinking about getting their home on the market should act quickly as February sales proved buyers are already searching early in advance of the spring months.”

            According to Dr. Lawrence Yun, interest in buying a home is the highest it has been since the Great Recession although buyers are dealing with challenging supply shortages in many areas.

            The Federal Reserve acted in March to raise its key interest rate. The Fed raised short-term interest rates by one-quarter of a percentage point. Mortgage rates aren’t directly tied to the Fed’s short term interest rates but tend to follow them.

            The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) was 4.17 percent in the month of February, up from 4.15 percent in January and up from 3.66 percent in February 2016. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.30 percent on March 16, 2017.

            “Prices continue to move in a positive direction,” noted Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the University of Illinois Regional Economics Applications Laboratory in his March Illinois REALTORS® Housing Price Forecast.  “While consumer confidence reflects optimism about the economy, the housing inventory continues to shrink suggesting that while more optimistic, many home-owners are not yet tempted enough to consider moving to a larger or more expensive home.”

            The time it took to sell a home in February in Champaign County averaged 72 days. “As home listings remain tight and buyer demand remains high, bidding wars are likely to be a focus in this year’s spring home selling season,” said Waller. “Champaign area REALTORS® are reporting strong foot traffic at open houses and showings of properties with the pace of activity seeming more brisk than last year at this time.”

            The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade organization serving Champaign County and surrounding areas and is a leading resource for its 465 REALTOR® members and an advocate for homeownership and private property rights. Statistics are from residential sales within Champaign County. Data compiled by Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC, as available on March 14, 2017.

Thursday, March 23, 2017/Categories: News Releases