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Champaign County Area Home Sales Ease Slightly in January

Local Commercial Real Estate Market Expansion Expected in 2016

The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® reports area home sales and the median home sale price were down slightly in January. CCAR reports a total of 142 residential homes were sold, a decrease of 3.40 percent as compared to 147 homes sold in January of 2015. The median home sale price in January was $140,950, down 2.79 percent from $145,000 reported in January of 2015. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half for less.

            Pending sales, a forward-looking indicator, were up 14.83 percent in January, 2016. There were 209 pending sales reported in January, up from 182 in January 2015. Pending sales reflect the number of active listings that went under contract and are awaiting closing (usually 30 to 60 days in the future).

            "Market conditions remained relatively stable in January with home sales down just slightly by five home sales from January 2015," said Stefanie Pratt, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. "Interest rates still remain at affordable levels--mortgage rates fell again last week to near lows last seen in 2015 averaging around 3.65 percent for a 30-year-fixed rate mortgage as reported by Freddie Mac. Consumer confidence improved modestly in January and we are seeing gains in pending sales and a number of sellers ready to put their homes on the market in preparation for the spring selling season."

            The average fixed rate mortgage for according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) was 3.87 percent in January, 2016 up from 3.65 in January a year ago. In December, 2015, the average rate was 3.85 percent. Dollar sales volume for the month of January stood at $22,717,426 off 0.21 percent from $22,766,094.

            The West region, which includes Mahomet, reported 32 sales, up 52.38 percent from 21 sales in January a year ago. Urbana home sales were up 6.66 percent to 16 sales from 15 a year ago. The city of Champaign and Savoy region sales were off 14 percent to 64 sales from 75 reported in January 2015.

            "The landscape for commercial real estate in Champaign and Urbana also remains strong driven by interest in the Campustown retail and multifamily market along with recent announcements by new projects in Midtown and downtown Champaign anticipated to begin in 2016. This is an indicator of all the interest in new commercial development in the Champaign area," said Pratt, a broker with Coldwell Banker Honig-Bell in Champaign. "There is a lot of velocity in the market and this commercial development translates over to attraction on the part of homebuyers who are seeking to locate or purchase in the area or in some cases to be nearby some of these developments. We have strong enrollment in the University of Illinois and with enrollment numbers trending upwards that also increases demand for more housing."

            According to the National Association of REALTORS®, commercial real estate activity is forecast to gradually grow this year with demand for space holding steady across all commercial sectors, according to an annual report published jointly by Situs Real Estate Research Corporation, Deloitte and the National Association of REALTORS®. Vacancies are expected to continue to decline slightly in 2016 nationally for all property types except in the apartment sector, where they are forecast to increase modestly by the end of the year as more new project completions come onto the market.

            "Supported by solid hiring in most parts of the country, the demand for ownership and rental housing will continue to increase in 2016 despite another year of meager economic expansion," says Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "While supply shortages will weigh on housing affordability and push home prices and rents higher, the housing sector will keep the economy afloat and lead the residential investment component of GDP growth by up to 10 percent this year." 

             According to the January University of Illinois Regional Economics Applications Laboratory the state sales forecast for January, February and March 2016 suggests small positive growth on a yearly basis and minimal change on a monthly basis. Annually for Illinois, the three-month average forecasts point to a change between 1.9% and 2.5%.

            "Buyers who are looking to close on a home soon will be rewarded with a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at or below 4 percent," said Pratt. "On the seller side, there is definitely an increased demand for more housing inventory especially with spring on the way which typically brings more buyers into the market."

            The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade organization serving Champaign County and surrounding area and is a 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 16, 2016/Categories: News Releases