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Champaign County Area Housing Market Heats Up in April

Home Sales, Median and Average Home Sale Price All Post Gains

The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® reported double-digit increases in area home sales growth for the month of April as compared to last year. CCAR reports a total of 267 sales of residential homes in April, an increase of 20.81 percent from 221 home sales in April of 2017.

 “Warmer temperatures ushered in brisk home sales activity this April as buyers were making their purchasing decisions and locking in their mortgage rates before rates moved any higher,” said Max McComb, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. “Declining inventory levels, hikes in mortgage rates and rising home prices are making it especially challenging for buyers this spring. Being quick with an offer is still the rule of the day as we see tighter inventory levels across the board.”

 The median home sale price in April was $149,000, up 2.6 percent from $146,000 in April of last year. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less. The average home sale price for April was $171,240, up 3.9 percent from $164,817 in April of 2017.

 “Buyer demand is still high in the Champaign County area housing market and many sellers and builders are in a good position for financial gains, as the economy continues to favor putting existing homes on the market and building new homes for sale,” indicates McComb. “There may not be massive increases in inventory from week to week, but a long-term trend toward more new listings on the market would be a good sign as we saw new listings gain 2.4 percent this April. Lower inventory continues to put a competitive strain on the market causing prices to increase over the next several months.”

There were 300 pending sales reported in April as compared to 311 a year ago in April, reporting a 3.5 percent drop. Pending sales for the month of April reflect the total number of active listings that went under contract and are awaiting closing usually 30 to 60 days in the future.

The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, according to the Federal Home Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) was 4.46 percent in April 2018, up from 4.04 percent in April 2017 and up from 4.44 percent in March 2018. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage for the week ending May 17th edged up to 4.61 percent, which matches the highest level since May 19, 2011. Freddie Mac reports healthy consumer spending and higher commodity prices spooked the bond markets and led to higher mortgage rates over the past week. Not only are buyers facing higher borrowing costs, gas prices are currently at four-year highs just as we enter the important peak home sales season.

Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS® presented his 2018 midyear forecast on May 17th at the REALTORS Legislative Meetings in Washington D.C. He said despite headwinds a moderate and multiyear increase in home sales is likely ahead. He expects home sales to finish 2018 at a pace of around 5.6 million (up 1.8 percent) and projects 5.7 million sales in 2019.

“Overall fundamentals remain solid, driven by a growing economy and steady job creation, which will sustain home sales in 2018 slightly above last year’s pace,” said Yun. “The worsening housing shortage means home prices are primed to rise further this year too, hindering affordability conditions for homebuyers in markets across the country.” Yun said the widespread shortage of homes for sales is the major factor limiting sales from being higher and without more supply to satisfy demand contract activity may likely remain flat and more or less continue sideways through the end of the year. Danielle Hale, chief economist of realtor.com agreed there is an acute shortage, especially of affordable inventory.

A delegation of CCAR REALTORS® joined more than 9,000 REALTORS® from across the country in the nation’s capital this past week for the 2018 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.  REALTORS® remain committed to continuing their work with Congress and the administration to advance policy initiatives that strengthen the ability of Americans to buy, invest, own and sell real estate. REALTORS® met with members of Congress, regulatory agency officials and top industry leaders advocating support for several important legislative initiatives.

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. Statistics are from residential sales within Champaign County. Data compiled by Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC as available on May 14, 2018.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018/Categories: News Releases