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Buyers Boost Home Sales in Champaign County in First Quarter

Gains Reported in Both Sales and Median Price in March

Buyer activity significantly increased in March to boost home sales higher in the first quarter of 2017, according to the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.

          The number of homes sold in Champaign County increased 5.8 percent in March 2017 with 182 homes sold, compared to 172 homes sold in March of 2016. Year-to-date there have been 438 homes sold, up 5.3 percent from 416 homes sold in the first quarter of 2016.

          For the month of March 2017, the median home sale price (for all single family homes and condominiums) was $151,400, up 0.9 percent from the $150,000 March 2016 price. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half for less. The year-to-date median home sale price was $145,075 up 0.1 percent from $145,000 in the first quarter of 2016.

          “We comfortably consider the first quarter to have been a good start for the Champaign County housing market in 2017,” said Jim Waller, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. “Sales have held their own in year-over-year comparisons and should improve during the busiest months of the real estate sales cycle as well. The health of the Champaign area economy and job market are attributing to this busy home sales season as buyers seek to find properties that meet their specifications so they can lock in mortgage rates before they rise again.”

          The average home sale price in Champaign County in March was $173,514, up 6.4 percent from $163,078 in March of 2016.

          The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) was 4.22 percent in the month of March, up from 4.17 percent in February and up from 3.70 percent in March 2016.  As of the week of April 20th, Freddie Mac reported the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.97 percent, the lowest rate since November 2016.

          “The U.S. economy has improved for several quarters in a row, which has helped wage growth and retail consumption increase in year-over-year comparisons,” said Waller. “Mortgage rates are hovering at or just below 4 percent making it an attractive time to lock in a home purchase while rates remain this low.”

          As of April 14th, among some of the home sales reported for March include: 87 home sales in the city of Champaign, 11 sales in Savoy and 32 home sales reported in Urbana. There were 19 reported sales in the city of Mahomet.

“Current inventory of starter homes are moving quickly as buyers find attractive deals that are falling within their budget,” said Waller. “It’s not unusual for homes to be listed and sold within a day or two and at list price. Buyers need to be prepared for fast moving sales, ready for competition and be pre-approved for lending in order to make an offer when the time is right.”

Growing consumer interest and demand for greener, more sustainable properties is driving a dialogue between Realtors® and homebuyers and sellers. Over half of Realtors® find that consumers have interest in real estate sustainability issues and practices, according to the National Association of Realtors®’ recent REALTORS® and Sustainability report. The home features that Realtors® said clients consider as very or somewhat important include a home’s efficient use of lighting (50 percent), a smart/connected home (40 percent), green community features such as bike lanes and green spaces (37 percent), landscaping for water conservation (32 percent), and renewable energy systems such as solar and geothermal (23 percent).                                    

The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade organization serving Champaign County and surrounding areas and is a leading resource for its 470 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 April 14, 2017.

Friday, April 21, 2017/Categories: News Releases