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Champaign County Area Home Sales Bounce Back in August

Median and Average Sale Prices Increase

            The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® reports home sales bounced back in August while the median and average home sale price also reported gains.

            CCAR reports a total of 301 residential homes were sold in August, up 4.51 percent from 288 sales in August one year ago. Home sales year-to-date are 1.78 percent ahead of last year with 2,155 sales so far this year as compared to 2,078 through August of 2017.

            The median home sale price in August of 2018 for the Champaign County area was $145,000, up 3.79 percent from $139,700. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half for less.

           The average home sale price in August was $170,607, down 2.72 percent from $166,097 in August of 2017.

            Pending home sales showed a significant increase. There were 211 pending sales in August, up 7.1 percent from 197 a year ago. Pending sales for the month of August reflect the total number of listings that went under contract and are awaiting closing, usually 30 to 60 days in the future.

            “New home construction is slowly rising to meet demand in the market as the housing market is slowly shifting to favor buyers,” said Max McComb, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. “Demand for housing is still strong in the Champaign County market due to the steady level of employment gains and will continue so into 2019. But with inventory levels dropping and a slow influx of new listings, we may see sales at a lackluster pace.”

           Mortgage rates have steadily inched higher over the last year. The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage for the month of August according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage (Freddie Mac) was 4.53 percent, up from 3.86 percent in August of 2017 and up from 4.52 percent in July 2018. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.65 for the week ending September 20, 2018.

            New listings in Champaign County increased 0.3 percent to 291 in August of this year from 290 last year while the overall inventory of homes for sale in the market dropped 10.5 percent from August of 2017.

            “As mortgage rates edge upward, this will affect the overall affordability for many would-be first-time homebuyers struggling to get into the market,” said McComb. “From all predictions, Champaign County area home sales are on pace to be ahead or even with sales a year ago, despite hitting some speed bumps this summer.”

            “Today, even as mortgage rates begin to increase and home sales decline in some markets, the most significant challenges facing the housing market stem from insufficient inventory and accompanying unsustainable home price increases,” said Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS® in a Aug. 27 NAR housing market report. REALTORS® across the country have stated that limited housing inventory is hindering local market home sales. Inventory levels have fallen for three straight years, and multiple bidding is still prevalent on starter homes in many markets across the country. Yun forecasts existing home sales in 2018 to decrease 1.0 percent to 5.46 million—down from 5.51 million in 2017. Home price growth should remain strong increasing  5 percent nationwide.

           Both sales and price growth slowed statewide in the last few months and the forecasts for the next three months suggest modest growth on an annual basis, says Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the University of Illinois, in the new September Illinois REALTORS® forecast. A trend to watch, however, is uncertainty in the market with some consumer sentiment indexes showing more optimism in the economy, with others reflecting less, particularly with the unknown impact of trade tariffs, according to Hewings.

           Illinois home sales slowed slightly in August as lower inventory continued to affect the market and consumers began to shift their attention to the start of a new school year, according to Illinois REALTORS® August home sales report. Statewide home sales (including single-family homes and condominiums) in August totaled 16,453 homes sold, down 0.2 percent from 16,488 in August 2017.

          “Home sales were tempered by a continuing inventory shrinkage in many of the state’s markets,” said Matt Difanis, president of Illinois REALTORS®. “As we come out of the warm weather selling season, it’s clear that we are looking at a market that still provides ample opportunity for sellers who are benefitting from relentless increases in median prices.”

          The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade organization serving Champaign County and surrounding areas and is a leading resource 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 September 14, 2018.



Friday, September 21, 2018/Categories: News Releases