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Home Sales Up First Four Months of 2015

April Home Sales Ease Slightly

The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® reports home sales remained relatively stable in April compared to a year ago while pending sales are on the upswing.  A total of 207 residential home sales were reported in April, down 1.89 percent from 211 home sales from a year ago. A total of 669 sales have been reported year-to-date, up 4.85 percent from 638 sales a year ago. The median home sale price in April was $138,200, up 0.87 percent from $137,000 a year ago. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

          There were 377 pending sales reported in the month of April, reflecting an increase of 3.28 percent from 365 reported in April 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.

           The city of Champaign and Savoy region reported home sales gains of 5.81 percent from 86 sales to 91 sales this April. The city of Urbana  home sales posted a 5.88 percent gain in home sale activity to 36 sales from 34 a year ago.

          As of May 5th, there were 1330 single-family residential listings on the market, up from 1315 reported in March.

          "We are beginning the onset of the busiest months for buying activity --we anticipate more robust sales growth as the year progresses. There is increased demand in the condo market with year-to-date condo sales figures up 31.7 percent so far alone. For all properties across the board, there is demand for more inventory that is move-in ready,"  says Jeffrey Barkstall, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. "REALTORS® have reported strong foot traffic and the higher pending sales volume means buyers are locking in their mortgages at those low interest rates."

          The average rate on a fixed rate mortgage for the North Central Region, according to a Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) was 3.63 percent in the month of April down from 3.75 percent in March and down from  4.34 percent in April 2014.

          Dollar sales volume for the month of April was $33,639,649 up .047 percent from $33,479,364.00 in April a year ago. Year-to-date dollar volume of sales was $105,062,239.00 up 7.41 percent from $97,812,580.00

          According to Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, nationwide home sales are forecast to end the year with 5.28 million home sales, the best in 9 years. Yun predicts the 30-year fixed mortgage rate will incrementally increase to 4.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 to 5.2 percent in 2016.

          First-time buyers are increasing their share of the market. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, first-time homebuyers made up 30 percent of existing home sales in March up from 29 percent in February.

          "We are seeing an up-tick in new construction as more home builders are increasing inventory demands. We have been very fortunate the Champaign-Urbana region has remained insulated and the metro area employment figures have remained solid for our region with a decreasing unemployment rate," said Barkstall, a broker with Century 21 Heartland Real Estate in Champaign. "Renters who are financially able to buy should be investigating their options now to lock in interest rates below 4 percent and to take advantage of the low downpayment mortgage programs out there that were not there a year ago. "

          According to the April forecast published by the Illinois Association of REALTORS® as prepared by the University of Illinois Regional Economics Applications Laboratory, the statewide annual home sales growth in April through June is projected to increase between 7.1 and 9.1 percent.

          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, May 8, 2015/Categories: News Releases