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January Marks the Eighth Consecutive Month for Home Sale Increases in Champaign County Area

The Champaign County area housing market recorded its eighth consecutive month of positive sales in January, according to the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.  Residential home sales increased 15.27 percent in January to 151 unit sales, up from 131 in January of 2020.

Also, there were 188 pending home sales reported for the month of January, up 12.6 percent from 167 pending sales in January of 2020 according to Midwest Real Estate Data LLC. Pending sales for the month of January reflect the total number of active listings that went under contract and are awaiting a closing, usually 30 to 60 days in the future. Inventory of homes for sale dated February 18, 2021 stood at 653 properties on the market.

The January median home sale price for the Champaign County area stood at $155,000 up 10.32 percent from $140,500 in January a year ago. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

“While the weather might be cold outside, it is not stopping the heat in the Champaign County area housing market. Home sales are still in a healthy state despite lower inventory, although the current pace of sales activity may be difficult to sustain without additional new listings in the market,” said Liz McDonald, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. “We are hopeful that more sellers are spending time this winter getting ready to put their home on the market soon, giving an added boost to our existing inventory.”

The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation was 2.73 percent in January, a decrease from 3.62 percent in January of 2020 and up from 2.68 in December of 2020. For the week ending February 18th, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage increased to 2.81 percent.

 The average home sale price for the month of January was $182,846 up 12.18 percent from $162,987 in January 2020.

“January got off to a strong start for the housing market with continued healthy buyer demand and strong market fundamentals.  On the plus side, low mortgage rates continue to make monthly payments for higher priced homes more manageable,” said McDonald. “On the other side of the spectrum, buyers will continue to face a competitive marketplace with lower sales inventory initially this year and saving up for a downpayment continues to be a challenge for many would-be first-time homebuyers.”

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS® predicts that 2021 will bring strong economic growth, supported by low mortgage rates and fiscal stimulus, which in turn will bolster existing-home sales. Existing home sales nationally are likely to reach 6.49 million, which would be a 15 percent increase from 5.64 million in 2020. “Moreover, expect economic conditions to improve with additional stimulus forthcoming and vaccine distribution already underway,” Yun said.

 According to the latest Fannie Mae Forecast, the continued waning of pent-up demand from last year’s delayed spring homebuying season, coupled with a modest rise in interest rates, will likely slow the pace of housing, measured both by the volume of mortgages refinanced and by the pace of home sales. However, in our view, a modest slowdown in the sales pace is unlikely to prevent year-end 2021 home sales from being higher than 2020,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. “The best policy for economic recovery is the broad distribution of an effective vaccine, which is underway. The sooner this can be successfully accomplished the sooner growth can accelerate, and our thought is that by mid-year vaccine distribution efforts will be well-established, allowing for a strong second half.”

McDonald indicates that with the number of new listings coming on the market still not optimal, buyers have to do their due diligence in getting their finances in order and be prepared to make decisions in a fast-moving housing market.  “It doesn’t matter if you are on the low or high end of the market; if you are a seller, most likely there is someone waiting in the wings for your home to be listed,” said McDonald. “Homeowners during this pandemic have made an itemized list of their wants and needs and making their next move will be one that gives them the space and features they have been seeking.”

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. Data was compiled by Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC as available on February 14, 2021. The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is an active participant in promoting equality and inclusion as longtime champions of fair housing with equal access to housing and opportunity for all. CCAR opposes discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, & national origin.

Friday, February 19, 2021/Categories: News Releases