Champaign County area home sales remained in positive territory for the tenth straight month while available inventory is still declining, according to data from the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.
According to CCAR reports, home sales increased 17.78 percent in March to 265 sales from 225 sales in March of 2020. The March figures were the highest sales for that month on record, eclipsing the previous March record of 2006 when 258 sales were reported. Year-to-date home sales through March totaled 570 sales, up 16.33 percent as compared to 490 sales from a year ago.
The March median home sale price in the Champaign County area was $169,900, up 9.61 percent from $155,000 in March 2020. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.
“Normal spring increases in sales activity, coupled with relaxing COVID-19 policies, created a very busy March real estate market as buyer demand continued pushing ahead despite rising home prices,” said Liz McDonald, President of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS ®. “Sellers are well positioned for a quick sale as we have seen overall market time dropping. Listing sooner rather than later is to the advantage of sellers in a very competitive market due to the shortage of properties. Buyers are eager and waiting for properties to come on the market.”
The average home sale price in March was $198,270 up 14.58 percent over the March 2020 price at $173,047.
There were 296 pending sales reported in March, up 13.8 percent from 260 pending sales in March 2020, according to the Midwest Real Estate Data LLCC. Pending sales for the month of March reflect the total number of active listings that went under contract and are awaiting a closing, usually 30 to 60 days in the future. Inventory of homes for sale as of April 21, 2021 stood at 905 properties on the market. The average time on market for a property was 79 days, down from 112 days in March 2020.
“While many homebuilders are working to increase their production, the cost of lumber and other materials and a backlogged supply chain continue to limit and slow new home construction, putting more pressure on existing home sales inventory,” said McDonald.
“The U.S. housing market is experiencing a historic boom that was not anticipated and is expected to continue for several more months. The sluggish inventory levels are leaving more buyers in competition with one another for homes that are on the market and thus putting pressure on prices. We are hopeful that as people get back into regular routines and more individuals receive COVID vaccines, we should see a greater uptick in inventory levels as sellers feel comfortable listing their homes for sale.”
The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation was 3.08 percent in March, down from 3.45 percent in March of 2020, and up from 2.81 percent in February of 2021. According to the latest Freddie Mac report, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage dipped to 3.04 percent for the week ending April 15th.
“First-time buyers have faced their own difficulties and challenge in finding a home within their budget price range due to the shortage of properties in the lower end of the price spectrum and due to rising home prices,” said McDonald. “It may take a bit longer but they should persevere and work with a REALTOR® and they hopefully will be able to find a home that matches their preferences within their price range.”
Dr. Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of REALTORS® reported in the NAR February pending home sales report that the upper-end market is experiencing more activity because of reasonable supply. "The demand for a home purchase is widespread, multiple offers are prevalent, and days-on-market are swift but contracts are not clicking due to record-low inventory," said Yun. According to Yun, even with rising mortgage costs, rates are expected to remain relatively low at no more than 3.5% in 2021. He says the rates are still advantageous to both prospective buyers and to current homeowners who are contemplating refinancing.
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 April 14, 2021. 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.
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The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is the "Voice for Real Estate" in the Champaign County area of Illinois, whose over 400 members are engaged in all facets of the real estate industry. CCAR was chartered in 1917.
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