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Year-End Champaign Area Home Sales Ahead of 2012

December Home Sales Up Notably

Residential home sales activity in the Champaign County area increased 33.77 percent over previous-year levels in December and total year sales increased 8.97 percent, according to the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.

            There were 202 home (single-family and condominiums) sold in the Champaign County area in December 2013, up from 151 homes sold in December 2012. Total year  2013 home sales were 2,599, up 8.97 percent from 2,385 in 2012.

            The total volume of sales for 2013 was $404,111,664, up 6.32 percent from $380,080,438 in sales for 2012. Total dollar volume of sales for December 2013 was $27,959,467, up 20.77 percent from $23,149,833. Forty-five percent of homes sold in Champaign County area in December were priced below $125,000.

            According to CCAR, the median home price for 2013 was $135,000, down 3.57 percent from $140,000 in 2012. The median price for the month of December was $116,950 down 13 percent from $134,500 in December a year ago.

            "With pent-up demand and buyers scrambling to lock in mortgage rates, there was a noticeable gain in December home sales activity bringing overall year-end totals higher than 2012," said Phil Trautman, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.  "Looking forward to 2014,  we do not expect higher mortgage rates to have a negative consequence on the housing market as buyer demand is still very healthy. The housing recovery should continue on a modest upward trend this year."

            There were 140 pending sales in December, a 6.87 percent increase from 131 from December in 2012. Pending sales for the month of December reflect the total number of active listings that were under contract and are awaiting closing usually 30 to 60 days in the future.

            The average rate on a fixed-rate mortgage from the North Central Region, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), was 4.47 percent in the month of December 2013, up from 3.32 percent. The rate was 4.27 percent in November.

            The West region, which includes Mahomet saw sales uptick 41 percent to 34 sales in December from 24 reported in December of 2012. The south region which includes Arcola and Tuscola, reported 25 home sales in December, up from 17 a year ago. Champaign and Savoy sales were up 24 percent in December and 10.82 percent for the year. The city of Urbana reported 42 sales in December, up 68 percent from 25 sales in December of 2012. The median sold price for city of Urbana sales in December stood at $116,666 up 11.11 percent from $105,000 reported in December of 2012.

            "We should expect to see an uptick in price growth in the next year due to increased demand for properties. At the same time, expect fewer bidding wars as the market calms down to a more even pace in terms of sales activity," said Trautman, broker-owner of Champaign County Realty in Champaign. "We will be keeping a watchful eye on mortgage availability options as new mortgage lending policies embodied in the Qualified Mortgage rules took effect January 10th and further fiscal and monetary debates continue. We are hopeful the new rules will not further constrain credit in an already tight lending environment. As the Federal Reserve continues to taper its bond purchasing program that has kept long-term mortgage rates at historic lows, we may see a gradual rise in interest rates in 2014 which could impact homebuyer affordability. Buyers should know it could be a more challenging market with higher interest rates. Whether a first time or move up buyer, buyers should consider a move early in 2014 as mortgage rates are expected to continue to increase as the year progresses that could lead to higher housing payments for some buyers."

            The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade association serving Champaign County and surrounding areas, and is the leading resource for REALTOR® members and an advocate for homeownership and private property rights. Statistics were compiled from local regions of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service which covers Champaign County and surrounding areas.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014/Categories: News Releases