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Strong Buyer Demand Moves Home Sales Higher in September

Mortgage Rates Remain Below 4 Percent

Strong buyer demand pushed home sales higher along with the number of new listings on the market in Champaign County in September while the median home price tracked lower.

          The number of homes sold in Champaign County increased 5.9 percent in September 2017 with 199 homes sold, compared to 188 homes sold in September 2016. For year-to-date through September of 2017, the number of homes sold was 2,042, down 1.2 percent from the same period last year.

          For the month of September 2017, the median home sale price (for all single-family and condominium homes) was $152,200, off by 1.4 percent from $154,325 in September 2016.  The median is a typical market price where half the home sold for more, half for less.

          “The rebound in home sale activity we saw in September definitely speaks to strong consumer confidence in our local economy,” said Max McComb, CDPE, GRI, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. “Buyers are out shopping and are taking advantage of housing opportunities in the Champaign County market area. We have had a steady gain in inventory of homes for sale keeping pace with demand from buyers but there definitely is room for more properties on the market especially at the starter home price point below $140,000.”

          The average cumulative days on market (from list date to sell date) for all home sales in September 2017 was 62 days, up from 58 days in September 2016.  

          The average home sale price in September was $173,363, down 2.0 percent from $176,852 in September of 2016.

          There were 97 home sales in the city of Champaign in September of 2017 versus 85 in September of last year; there were 37 sales in Urbana versus 28 last year; Savoy had 7 sales this September versus 11 last year and Mahomet had 23 sales in September of this year versus 22 last year.

The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation reported that the national average commitment rate for 30-year conventional fixed rate 3.81 percent up from 3.46 in September of last year and down from 3.89 percent in August of this year. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.94 percent for the week ending October 26, 2017.

          “Lending programs are especially favorable to first-time buyers and interest rates remain very attractive at below 4 percent. Many renters have the ability to enter the market sooner rather than later with many low down payment mortgage programs available,” said McComb, a broker with RE/MAX Realty Associates in Champaign.  “Autumn offers attractive benefits to homebuying including year-end tax breaks, pleasant weather for house hunting and many times less competition with other buyers for a home purchase.”

According to the Illinois REALTORS®, statewide home sales in September 2017 totaled 13,657 homes sold, down 4.0 percent from 14,223 in September 2016.

          "Sellers are definitely reaping the benefits of a market which in many areas continues to be dogged by tight inventories," said Illinois REALTORS® President Matt Difanis, ABR, CIPS, GRI of Mahomet, co-owner of RE/MAX Realty Associates in Champaign. "Although the summer selling season is drawing to a close, interest on the part of many buyers does not seem to be waning as evidenced by the short time on average it is taking to complete a purchase."

Low housing inventory and the negative impact of recent hurricanes has prompted the National Association of REALTORS® to readjust its 2017 forecast. “The supply and affordability headwinds would have likely held sales growth just a tad above last year, but coupled with the temporary effects from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, sales in 2017 now appear will fall slightly below last year. The good news is that nearly all the missed closings for the remainder of the year will likely show up in 2018, with existing sales forecast to rise 6.9 percent,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, first-time buyers accounted for 29 percent of sales in September.

The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade organization serving Champaign County and surrounding areas and is the leading resource for REALTOR® members and an advocate for homeownership and private property rights.

Thursday, October 26, 2017/Categories: News Releases