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Champaign County Area Home Sales Continue Upward Trend

The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® reports the local area housing market began 2014 on a positive note despite extreme winter weather conditions with a total of 129 residential homes sold in January, an increase of 4.03 percent from 124 homes sold in January a year ago.

            Pending sales volume for the month of January, which reflects the number of active listings that went under contract and are awaiting closing (usually 30 to 60 days in the future) were up 13.07 percent, which suggests a continued increase in the level of activity in the real estate market heading into spring. There were 173 pending sales reported in January versus 153 in January last year.

            The median home sale price (for all single-family homes and condominiums) during January 2014 was $136,000, up 32.03 percent from January 2013 when it stood at $103,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

            Dollar sales volume for the month of January stood at $20,275,999, up 20.86 percent from $16,775,172 in January of 2013.

            "Having positive home sales for the Champaign area in January is a strong indication that buyers are not letting this cold winter weather prevent them from looking for a home in order to lock in interest rates before they increase further," said Phil Trautman, president of Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.  "Serious buyers are out searching. When the snow bites so are buyers who find the right home they want to purchase. Some are intent in making their move by spring so they can get a jump ahead of other buyers who are just entering the market," said Trautman.

            Inman News reports total visits to real estate websites were up 25%  in January from December 2013, proving that people despite harsh winter conditions are keeping up their real estate searches online.          

            The average fixed rate mortgage for the North Central Region, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) was 4.43 percent in the month of January, up from 3.40 percent in the same month a year ago and off from 4.47 percent in December 2013.

            "We are optimistic an improving economy will boost home sales heading into the spring months. Today's mortgage rates are still favorable and a good bargain even though rates stand higher than last year," said Trautman, broker-owner of Champaign County Realty in Champaign. "We are still monitoring new mortgage rules that went into effect in January to make sure they do not have a hindrance on homebuyers or constrict credit even further.  The Consumer Board Consumer Confidence Index, which rebounded in December, rose for the second consecutive month in January, suggesting consumers confidence in the economy is improving. To boost the housing market forward, we need to see improvements in job creation and income growth in order to offset the affordability factors of  rising interest rates."         

            The cities of Champaign and Savoy reported 57 sales up 14 percent from January a year ago. The west region, which includes Mahomet reported sales increase of 14.28 percent.

            The most recent unemployment figures for the metropolitan areas showed conditions fared better in the Champaign-Urbana MSA than statewide. The Champaign-Urbana PMSA unemployment rate stood at 8.3 percent in December, while the state rate stood at 8.6 percent, according to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

            The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade organization serving Champaign County and surrounding area, 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, February 11, 2014/Categories: News Releases