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Pandemic Affects Champaign County Area Home Sales in May

While Pending Sales on the Rise and Median and Average Sale Prices Report Gains

The effects of COVID-19 and the statewide stay-at-home order were felt  with a sharp decline in home sales in the Champaign County area in May while gains were reported in both the median and average home sale prices, according to the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.

CCAR reports a total of 234 residential homes were sold in May, down 30.97 percent from 339 sales in May 2019. The median home sale price in May for the Champaign County area was $171,200, up 14.13 percent from $150,000 in May 2019. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half for less.

The average home sale price in May was $191,789 up 9.71 percent from $174,817 in May one year ago.

As of June 18th,  there were 1,196 residential homes listed on the market in the Champaign County area.

Year-to-date home sales for 2020 through the month of May stood at 987, off 3.89 percent from 1,027 home sales during the same period one year ago.

Pending sales volume improved for the Champaign County area during May.  According to Midwest Real Estate Data LLC, during May there were 295 pending sales reported in Champaign County, up 13 percent from 261 pending sales in May of 2019. Pending sales for the month of May reflect the total number of active listings that went under contract and are awaiting closing usually 30 to 60 days in the future.  The average number of days on market dropped to 87 days.  

“As anticipated, May took the full brunt of the coronavirus as a lot of the home sales reported actually went under contract in April when the state was under strict lockdown due to the pandemic,” said Julie Roth, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.  “As we see the phased reopening of our state, consumers are already feeling more confident as buyers are putting contracts on residential properties.  Pending sales were up 13 percent in May, signaling a sign for a delayed seasonal bump in home sales.”

The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation was 3.23 percent in May, down from 3.3 percent in April of this year and down from 4.14 percent in May of 2019. According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage dropped to the lowest rate in its survey history to 3.13 percent for the week ending June 18th. Freddie Mac predicts the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage is expected to be 3.4 percent in 2020 and 3.2 percent in 2021.

 “Record-low mortgage rates are likely to remain in place for the rest of the year, and will be the key factor driving housing demand as state economies steadily open,”  Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS® said. “Still, more listings and increased home construction will be needed to tame price growth.”

Roth indicates that buyers have been quicker to return to the market than sellers, also calling for a need for more listings on the market.

“We entered this year with a housing shortage that has continued to grow during this pandemic as some sellers retreated from the market,” said Roth. “We think this is only a temporary situation as many homeowners were engaged in home remodeling during the stay-at-home period and are preparing their homes to get ready to sell when the time is right for them. As the state begins its phased reopening, we are hopeful real estate activity will continue on an upwards trend through the second half of the year, assuming there is not a second wave of the coronavirus and the economic recovery begins to occur. We should start to see open houses return with social distancing and safety precautions in place while virtual tours will remain a vital part of the home sale process moving forward.”

 Beginning May 29th, real estate brokerages were legally allowed to hold open houses so long as safety measure are observed (including limiting groups to ten people or less (including owners and brokers who might be present in the property), social distancing where possible, with face coverings where social distancing can’t be observed and frequent cleaning.

The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade organization serving Champaign County and surrounding areas and is the leading resource for REALTOR® members and an advocate for homeownership and private property rights. Data was compiled by Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC as available on June 14, 2020. The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is an active participant in promoting equality and inclusion as longtime champions of fair housing with equal access to housing and opportunity for all. CCAR opposes discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, & national origin.

Monday, June 22, 2020/Categories: News Releases