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Champaign County Area Home Sales Eased Slightly in September

Housing Inventory Remains Tight while year-to-date sales remain ahead of last year

            Champaign County area home sales softened slightly in September, down 2.16 percent over sales from a year ago, breaking the fifteen-month streak of year-over-year sales increases, according to the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.

            There were 272 residential homes sold in the Champaign County area in September, down by 2.16 percent from 278 homes sold in September 2020. However, the number of days a home was on the market continued to decline, averaging 21 days compared to 56 days in September 2020. Year-to-date home sales for the Champaign County area totaled 2,550 up 8.93 percent from 2,341 from sales in the prior year.

            The median home sale price in September for the Champaign County area was $177,950, down 1.14 percent from $180,000 in September of 2020. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.

            “This was the second most active September for home sales in 14 years, right behind sales in 2020. As inventory increases, competition for homes may soften and could bring more moderation in sales prices which could be music to the ears of homebuyers who are within reach of homeownership,” said Stefanie Pratt, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. “We remain optimistic about the current housing market conditions as new listings have continued to hit the market, recently bucking seasonality trends as well. This month there were also moderate gains in the pending sales volume up 10 percent.”

The average home sale price in the Champaign County area for September was $208,474, up 6.32 percent from $196,085 in September 2020. During September, new listings were up 24 percent over one year ago.       

            The pending home sales volume in Champaign County showed positive gains, up 10.6 percent to 230 from 208 in September 2020, according to Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC. Pending sales for the month of September reflect the total number of active listings that went under contract and are awaiting a closing usually 30 to 60 days in the future.

            According to the latest pending sales forecast by the National Association of REALTORS®, "Rising inventory and moderating price conditions are bringing buyers back to the market," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. "Affordability, however, remains challenging as home price gains are roughly three times wage growth."

            The Freddie Mae quarterly forecast for the housing market issued on Oct. 15th, predicts continued strength of the single-family housing market even as mortgage rates are expected to modestly increase and home prices rise. “Despite some obvious headwinds, the housing market remains strong as the economy grows,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist. “Even as mortgage rates are expected to increase and home prices continue to rise, homebuyer demand remains steady as inventory issues have slightly improved.”

            The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation was 2.90 percent in September up from 2.84 percent in August and up from 2.89 percent in September of 2020. Mortgage rates averaged 3.5 percent for the week ending Oct. 14th, 2021.

            Inventory of homes for sale as of October 19, 2021 stood at 840 properties on the market, down from 866 properties last month. Inventory at this time last year was 848 properties on the market.

“Mortgage rates should hover around 3 percent through the remainder of the year, while expectations are the average mortgage rate should rise to 3.6 percent in 2022. Higher mortgage rates factor into the overall affordability for all buyers,” said Pratt. “The window of opportunity for buyers isn’t over yet. Buyers still have the opportunity to lock in record low mortgage rates, but the overall key is to act sooner rather than later as we may see the Federal Reserve change its overall course on increasing rates sooner due to inflationary concerns.”

 According to the September Housing Price Forecast for the Illinois REALTORS® by the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory, Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, the median price forecast indicates positive annual growth for September, October and November in both Illinois and Chicagoland area.

 “The market continues to exhibit positive growth in prices, but the number of sales has declined,” said Dr. Daniel McMillen, head of the Stuart Handler Department of Real Estate at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Business Administration. “The Delta variant is causing concerns for consumers that have reduced their confidence in the economy, and these concerns are likely stronger in areas of the state that have had large increases in hospitalizations recently. But so far, these concerns have been offset by the continued strength of demand for housing and favorable home-selling conditions.”

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 October 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.

Thursday, October 21, 2021/Categories: News Releases