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CCAR sales up 14.67 percent in February

Champaign Area Home Sales Start Strong in 2014

The polar vortex that gripped much of the nation in February did not freeze home sale activity in the Champaign County area. The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® reports home sales have continued on a good start in 2014 as single family and condominium sales were up 14.67 percent in February with 125 home sales reported compared to 109 sales in February 2013. Home sales reported year-to-date are 9.01 percent ahead of last year.  The median home sale price for homes in the Champaign area decreased slightly by 5.30 percent to $125,000 from $132,000 in February a year ago.  The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

            There were 176 pending sales in February, a decrease of 7.36 percent from 190 in February a year ago. Year-to-date pending sales are up 1.16 percent from the year previous.

            Dollar sales volume for the month of February stood at $19,748, 210, up 24.77 percent from $15,827,485.00 in February of 2103. Year-to-date sales volume was $40,024,209.00 up 22.76 percent from $32,602,657.00.

            "The extreme cold weather has not stopped buyers in the Champaign County area from going out and making a home purchase. There are serious buyers out there looking for housing inventory. Recent reports indicate improving state employment conditions. Continued job growth is necessary so that the spring 2014 housing market can make another impressive performance compared to last year," said Phil Trautman, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. "Interest rates seem to have settled for a month or so, giving buyers that added affordability factor with their home purchase. The CCAR February pending sales indicate we may see a pause in March home sales before we head into the full-blown spirited spring buying season. More buyers are ready to get out of hibernation; they're spent their winters online searching and are ready to beat the spring race to buy but impressive market home sale gains will need more inventory to support demand."

            The average rate on a fixed-rate mortgage for the North Central Region, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) was 4.32  percent to the month of February, up from 3.49 percent in February 2013. Illinois unemployment figures released recently showed the statewide rate fell to 8.7 percent in January from 9.2 percent a year ago and down from 8.9 percent in December 2013.

            The cities of Champaign and Savoy region reported sales up 4.34 percent from February a year ago. The Urbana region reported 26 sales, up 36.84 percent. Urbana reported sales growth of 36.84 percent to 26 sales from 19 sales in February 2013.

            "Eyes are on Washington as new federal tax proposals are being considered that would scale back deductions available to taxpayers, including limits on the mortgage interest deduction," said Trautman, broker-owner of Champaign County Realty in Champaign.  "The REALTOR® Association supports reforms that promote economic growth, but we strongly oppose severely altering the rules that govern ownership and investment in real estate. Real estate powers almost one-fifth of the U.S. economy, employs more than 17 million Americans, and contributes a quarter of all federal and state tax revenue and as much as 70 percent of local taxes."

            According to the National Association of REALTORS®, total existing-home sales are projected at just over 5.0 million in 2014, slightly below the volume recorded last year. The national median existing-home price is forecast to grow in the range of 5 to 6 percent this year.

            The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade organization serving the Champaign County and surrounding areas, and is the leading resources for REALTOR® members and an advocate for homeowership 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.

Monday, March 10, 2014/Categories: News Releases