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October Champaign County Area Home Sales Up Sharply in October

Median Home Sale Price Shows Steady Growth

Statistics compiled by the Champaign County Association of REALTORS® showed a 28.57 percent increase in home sales in October while the area median sales price increased 5.6 percent compared to October 2013. For the month of October, a total of 216 homes were sold as compared to 168 homes in the same month in 2013.

            The October median home sales price in the Champaign area (for all single-family homes and condominiums) was $132,000, up 5.6 percent from $125,000 in October 2013. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. The median price year-to-date is $138,000, up 0.69 percent from $137,050 a year ago.

             CCAR year-to-date sales through October of 2014 totaled 2,307 reflecting an increase of 3.08 percent from 2,238 home sales a year ago.

            "While last year in October the federal government shutdown slowed home sales activity across the nation, this October we witnessed stronger pent up demand driving both home sales and median price growth across the area. Renewed confidence and growing consumer optimism in the housing market is sending a strong, positive signal as we close the year for real estate," said Jeffrey Barkstall, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. "Buyers were locking in attractive mortgage rates which dipped to yearly lows below 4 percent for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage in October."      

            Total dollar sales volume for residential sales for the month of October this year was $34,067,553 as compared to $23,927,278 a year ago.  Year-to-date sales volume stood at $372,622,836 up from $352,159,953 a year ago. There were 205 pending sales reported for the month of October, reflecting an decrease of 2.84 percent from 211 pending sales reported in October 2013. Pending sales for the month of October reflect the number of active listings that went under contract and are awaiting closing, usually 30 to 60 days in the future.

            The city of Urbana home sales activity increased 55 percent to 31 sales compared to 20 sales a year ago. The cities of  Champaign and Savoy region reported an increase of 22.53 percent in activity to 87 home sales. The west region, which includes Mahomet, remained even at 28 sales.

            The National Association of REALTORS® presented an economic forecast at the 2014 REALTORS® Conference and Expo in New Orleans on November 7th. According to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, national existing home sales this year are expected to fall slightly below 2013 (5.1 million ) to 4.9 million and then are forecasted to increase to 5.3 million next year and 5.4 million in 2016. Yun expects the national median existing-home sale price to rise 4 percent both next year and in 2016.

            "The job market for the Champaign-Urbana area continues to be robust with ongoing expansion, including the recent announcement of the construction of the Cronus Chemicals plant in Tuscola which most likely will drive more housing demand to our area. Tight lending conditions are still preventing many would-be buyers from entering homeownership, especially those at the first-time homebuyer stage," said Barkstall, a broker with Century 21 Heartland Real Estate in Champaign. "The percent share of first-time buyers continues to underperform historically. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, first time buyers have represented less than 30 percent of all buyers in 17 of the past 18 months."

            According to the University of Illinois Regional Economics Applications Laboratory October forecast, the statewide annual home sales pace for October, November and December suggests an uptick in activity of between 2.0% and 2.7%.

            “As the housing market enters a normally slow season, the trend of the last few months of declining sales on a month-to-month basis is expected to continue, but with gains on a year-over-year basis for the remainder of 2014.” noted Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, Director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory of the University of Illinois. “However, prices are still forecast to increase and inventories are slowly expanding.”

            The average commitment rate for the North Central region for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation was 3.98 percent for the month of October, down from 4.20 percent from October 2013 and down from 4.16 percent reported in September of 2014.

            The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade organization serving the Champaign County and surrounding 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.

Friday, November 14, 2014/Categories: News Releases