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Year-end Home Sales Inch By 2017 Levels

Median Home Sale Price Also Rises While December Sales Experience Cooldown

         Residential home sale activity in the Champaign County area in 2018 increased 1.91 percent over the previous year levels, while the area median price stayed even at $150,000, according to the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.

            There were 2,938 homes sold in 2018 versus 2,883 sold in 2017. The average home sale price for 2018 for the Champaign County area stood at $174,453, down 0.07 percent from $174,570 in 2017.

            For the month of December there were 179 homes sold, down 10.95 percent from 201 homes sold in December of 2017. According to CCAR, the median home sale price for December 2018 was $144,500, down 1.03 percent from $146,000 in December of 2017.

            “While the overall home sales pace slowed somewhat in 2018, sales remained ahead of 2017. Growth and smart redevelopment within the Champaign-Urbana area community continues to ignite the residential home sales market,” said Eric Porter, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.  “Unemployment rates have remained remarkably low and wages continue to improve for many households. Right now, we are seeing a housing market in transition as mortgage rates climbed through much of the year, chilling home sales by affecting homebuyers’ overall purchasing power.”

            Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS® believes that there are good long-term prospects for home sales. “Home sales in 2018 look to close out the year with 5.3 million home sales, which would be similar to that experienced in the year 2000. But given the 17 million more jobs now compared to the turn of the century, home sales are clearly underperforming today. That also means there is steady longer-term growth potential,” said Yun.

Yun indicated the latest government shutdown could harm the housing market. Several negative impacts on the real estate market include: delays on some real estate transactions, unavailability of federal Rural Housing Service loans and processing bottlenecks at some federal agencies. Approximately 11 percent of REALTORS® nationwide have reported the shutdown has had negative effects on the local economy.

             The average rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), was 4.63 percent in December of 2018 versus 3.95 percent in December of 2017 and down from 4.87 percent in November of 2018. According to Freddie Mac, for the week ending January 17th, mortgage rates remained flat after dropping six consecutive weeks. The 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 4.45 percent.

            “Buyers are having more choices and thus more negotiating power in the market today.  As mortgage rates have fallen in past couple of weeks, we may see more potential homebuyers come off the sidelines to take advantage of lower rates. Rates are still higher than a year ago but have steadily fallen from nearly 5 percent this past fall.  All predictions are we may see volatility in mortgage rates over the next few months,” said Porter. “In spite of that, we do expect housing demand to remain strong as we head into 2019 giving way to improved inventory. We should continue to see moderate growth in home-price appreciation as well. Some sellers are making price reductions to move their property as the market shifts more to a balanced market.” Porter is optimistic that the Champaign County commercial real estate market area will remain on strong footing in 2019.

         The average number of days on market declined 5.1 percent in December to 94 days from 99 days in December of 2017. 

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 January 14, 2019.



Friday, January 18, 2019/Categories: News Releases