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April Home Sales Slowed in Champaign County

Median Home Sale Price on Rise

Champaign County home sales slowed in April while the median home sale price rose 2.6 percent, according to the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. The total number of homes sold in Champaign County decreased by 17.0 percent in April of 2017 with 190 homes sold, compared to 229 homes sold in April of 2016. The year-to-date total number of homes was down slightly to 630 sales, off 2.3 percent from 645 homes sold through April a year ago for Champaign County.

          For the month of April 2017, the median home sale price (for all single-family homes and condominiums) was $148,725 up 2.6 percent from $145,000 in April 2016. 

          The year-to-date through April 2017 median home sale price stood at: $145,750 up 0.5 percent over the same period a year ago. The median is a typical market price where half the home sold for more, half sold for less.

          “Lower inventory in certain price ranges, economic factors and affordability headwinds held back sales in April,” said Jim Waller, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. “The ongoing state budget impasse factors into decision making on the part of consumers whose jobs are funded either wholly or partially by state government. What’s happening with our state economy long-term has an effect on both local and regional economies. Real estate is not isolated.”

          The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage for the month of April was 4.04 percent according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, up from 3.61 percent in April of 2016 and down from 4.22 percent in March 2017. According to Freddie Mac, for the fifth consecutive week ending May 18, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage remained around 4 percent.

          “Buyers should see this as an opportune time to jump into the market before interest rates rise any higher this year,” said Waller. “REALTORS® are seeing more buyers compromising on property features and home qualities. Some buyers are waiting for new properties to emerge on the market and are prepared to make  an offer quickly when they see a property they want. It’s not unusual for us to see multiple offers on properties as soon as they are listed. Buyers need to be sure they are working with a REALTOR® who can help them develop an attractive offer to purchase and evaluate the house they are wanting to be sure it is priced right in this market.”

The average number of days on market for all home sales increased to 83 days from 81 days in April 2016.

CCAR held a spring open house day on Sunday, May 21st, where 100 open houses were held to provide buyers the opportunity to tour multiple properties in one day. The event was sponsored by the Champaign County Association of REALTORS® as a special event in observance of the Association’s 100th anniversary being celebrated this year.

The first quarter was the best quarterly existing sales pace in exactly a decade nationally at (5.62 million) according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for NAR, expects activity to stay on track and finish around 5.64 million—the best since 2006 (6.47 million) and 3.5 percent above 2016. Yun believes the rising interest rate environment is here to stay. He foresees two more short-term rate hikes by the end of this year and for mortgage rates to average around 4.30 percent before gradually climbing towards 5.0 percent in 2018.

          The National Association of REALTORS® has these five suggestions for buyers in a tight housing market.

  1. Determine and stick to a budget. Before beginning the house hunting process, prospective homebuyers should receive preapproval from one or more lenders to verify the amount of money they are qualified to borrow.

  2. Identify desired neighborhoods and home wants versus needs. When housing inventory is tight, buyers may need to compromise on what they believe they want in a home.

  3. Be ready to make a decision quickly. In a seller’s market, homes rarely stay on the market long, so when a house that is in their budget and checks off all of their needs come along, buyers should not hesitate.

  4. Bid competitively and limit contingencies. It is tempting to submit a low offer as a starting bid, but in a seller’s market, buyers need to put forward their highest offer from the very beginning or they are likely to lose out on the home. It is also important to remember that in multiple bidding situations it is not always the highest offer that is most attractive to the seller but the one with the fewest contingencies.

  5. Work with a REALTOR®. All real estate is local, so it is important to work with an agent who is a REALTOR® and is familiar with the areas and neighborhoods the buyers are considering.


    A delegation of CCAR members were among nearly 10,000 REALTORS® who gathered in Washington, D.C. last week for the National Association of REALTORS® Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo to advocate on behalf of homeowners, commercial property investors and strong communities. REALTORS® addressed members of Congress and federal regulators on key real estate issues and participated in meetings and special forums. CCAR REALTORS® met with U.S. Congressman Rodney Davis and U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth to urge action on a several key issues including advocating for responsible reform of the secondary mortgage market, reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program, promoting consumer protection for energy efficiency improvement (PACE) loans as well as cautioning against radical tax reform changes that balance the reforms on the back of homeowners.

    The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade organization serving Champaign County and surrounding areas and is a leading resource for its 473 REALTOR® members and an advocate for homeownership and private property rights. Statistics are from residential sales within Champaign County. Data compiled by Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC, as available on May 14, 2017.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017/Categories: News Releases