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CCAR April Home Sales Report Shows Solid Start to Spring

The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® reports that area home sales were up 4.97 percent in April over the same month a year ago. There were 211 home sales reported in April compared to 201 sales in April of 2013. Home sales are on the rise for the fifth straight month in the Champaign area.

            There were 371 pending sales reported for the month of April, reflecting an increase of 8.47 percent during the same period a year ago. 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.

            A total of 638 sales have been reported year-to-date, up 7.40 percent from 594 home sales a year ago. The median home sale price for the Champaign County region in April was $137,000, down 3.52 percent from $142,000 in April of 2013. The year-to-date median home sale price was $132,500 up 1.92 percent from $130,000.

            "We anticipate continuing positive trends in home sale activity throughout the summer months. This is certainly an ideal time when sellers can move their homes quickly if their property is priced accurately and realistically. We are seeing  pent-up demand on the part of sellers who are checking out move-up property and are ready to list and first-time buyers who are looking for the right home and more selection of properties to choose from," said Phil Trautman, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. "Our active spring market was actually delayed a bit due to cold weather but buyers are now ready to get moving on their purchases before interest rates creep up again. We are still seeing tight credit conditions for first-time buyers and there is always room for more inventory in lower price ranges that are attractive to entry level buyers."

            The city of Urbana region home sales rose to 34 sales from 21 a year ago. The west region, which includes Mahomet, saw sales rise 29.03 percent to 40 sales from 31 a year ago.

            Dollar sales volume for the month of April was $33,479,364, up 11.16 percent from $30,116,981 reported a year ago. Year-to-date dollar volume of sales was $97,760,780 up 12.64 percent from $86,783,535 reported a year ago.

            The average commitment rate for the North Central region for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) was 4.34 percent for the month of April, up from 3.42 percent in April a year ago and down from 4.36 in March of 2014.

            "The pick-up in our sales pending is indicative to a delay experienced this spring due to the prolonged winter weather conditions we endured. We are seeing an up-tick in sales activity as more inventory is reaching the market," said Trautman, managing broker & Senior Appraiser of Champaign County Realty & Appraisals by Trautman in Champaign.  

            Representatives from the Champaign Area Association of REALTORS® were in Washington, D.C. last week to attend the National Association of REALTORS® Legislative Meetings which included meetings on Capitol Hill with members of Congress, including both Illinois U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk. Discussions focused on critical real estate issues such as preserving the mission and accessibility of the Federal Housing Administration's loan programs, protecting real estate-related tax policies, and reforming the secondary mortgage market.

            "This was important for our industry to talk about issues that remind our country's leaders of the vital role that real estate plays in both the long and short-term health of our nation's economy and ensure public policies promote a full economic and housing recovery," said Trautman.

            Also, Dr. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS® presented a forecast for housing and the economy at the NAR Midyear Meetings in Washington, D.C. on May 15. He predicts:

            *Existing home sales are projected to decline about 3 percent in 2014 to over 4.9 million but should trend up to more than 5.2 million in 2015. The nationwide median home sale price should increase about 6 percent in 2014 to $209,000 and reach nearly $219,000 in 2015. Mortgage rates are forecast to gradually rise with the 30-year fixed rate averaging 4.7 percent this year and 5.5 percent in 2015. See more details on his forecast.

            The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade organization serving the Champaign County and surround areas, and is the leading resource for REALTOR® members and an advocate for home ownership 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, May 20, 2014/Categories: News Releases