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Fall Brings Drop in Home Sales This September

Average and Median Home Sale Prices Report Gains

Home sales declined across most of the country in September, as did sales in the Champaign County market area.  CCAR reports at total of 218 residential home sales in September, down 9.54 percent from 241 sales in September one year ago. Home sales year-to-date remain slightly ahead of last year’s sales in Champaign County area, up 0.69 percent.

            The median home sale price in September of 2018 for the Champaign County area was $153,750, up 2.5 percent from $150,000. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half for less.

            The average home sale price in September in the Champaign County area was $171,154 up 3.26 percent from $165,748 in September of 2017.

            Pending home sales showed a slight increase. There were 146 pending sales in September, up 2.8 percent from 142 a year ago. Pending sales for the month of September reflect the total number of listings that went under contract and are awaiting closing, usually 30 to 60 days in the future.

            “With sales inventory decreasing, buyers are being increasingly selective about which homes to make an offer on,” said Eric Porter, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.  “With the economy booming along with employment gains, this should be the time when we should see sales surging. Instead, low inventories combined with mortgage rates trending higher, are slowing buyer decisions on home purchases as they face tighter budget constraints affecting their overall affordability conditions.”

            The average cumulative days on market (from list to date to sell date) for all home sales in the Champaign County area in September 2018 was 73 days, up from 61 days in September of 2017.

            Inventory of homes for sale dropped 13 percent in September to 903 listings versus 1,038 listings in September of 2017.

            “Home sellers are now facing more competition in this marketplace. Homes will take a bit longer to sell compared to the heated marketplace we saw earlier this year,” said Porter, a broker with RE/MAX Realty Associates in Champaign. “What we are experiencing is part of a national larger cooldown in the housing market as it moves away from a seller’s market. This puts buyers more in the driver’s seat as they become more selective on their home selection.”

The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation reported that the national average commitment rate for a 30-year conventional fixed rate was 4.63 percent in September up from 3.81 percent in September of 2017 and up from 4.55 percent in August of this year. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.85 percent for the week ending October 18th.

            According to the National Association of REALTORS®, total existing home sales fell 4.1 percent in September from a year ago. First-time buyers were responsible for 32 percent of sale sin September, up from last month (31 percent) and a year ago (29 percent).

            “Despite small month over month increases, the share of first-time buyers in the market continues to underwhelm because there are simply not enough listings in their price range,” said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall in the NAR September home sales news release. “Entry-level homes remain highly sought after, as prospective buyers are advised to contact a REALTOR® as early in the buying process as possible in order to ensure buyers can act fast on listings that catch their eye.”

            Statewide, Illinois home sales declined in September as well amid tight inventory and higher mortgage rates. Statewide home sales in September totaled 12,432 homes sold, down 10.4 percent from 13,873 in September 2017.

            “While price growth continues with modest gains, sales in both the Chicago Metro Area and Illinois have decreased on both a year-over-year and on a monthly basis” said Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at the University of Illinois in Illinois REALTORS® Housing Price Forecast. “September’s sales were lower, but it is difficult to extract any trend from one month’s data and it will require more monitoring in the months ahead to determine longer-term market impacts.” Hewings forecast for October, November and December suggests decreases on a yearly basis and a monthly basis for both Illinois and the Chicago PMSA.      

            Porter adds residential real estate should continue along a mostly positive line for the rest of the year and there are definitely price ranges that are outperforming others with sales more robust especially in lower end sector of the market under the $150,000 price range.

“Positive employment trends in the Champaign County market area should allow more individuals to enter the market as long as we continue to see steadily rising inventory,” said Porter.

            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 October 14, 2018.

Thursday, October 25, 2018/Categories: News Releases