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CCAR Home Sales Off Slightly In October

Home sales declined in the Champaign County area in October as higher mortgage rates and the federal government shutdown played a role in affecting overall consumer affordability conditions and purchasing decisions, reports the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.  Despite the decline, home sales are still on pace to break last year's area totals.

CCAR reports there were 168 residential home sales in October down 3.44 percent from 174 sales in October a year ago. The median home sale price in October was $125,000, down 10.84 percent from $140,200 in October a year ago. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half for less. The year-to-date median sales price was $137,050, down 2.10 percent from $140,000 in October a year ago.

“Interest rates will likely rise in 2014, so there is no better opportunity than now to lock in rates while they are at their current level. Waiting until spring will most likely mean buyers will face higher prices and higher mortgage rates” said Phil Trautman, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.  “There are important decisions that must be addressed on a national front to keep the housing market moving forward, that includes preserving property and homeownership tax policies in future budget talks and laying the foundation for a better mortgage finance system.”

A total of 2,238 residential home sales have been sold year-to-date in the Champaign County area, up 8.69 percent from 2,059 reported in October a year ago.

The October pending sales volume was up 25.42 percent from the same period a year ago.  There were 222 pending sales in October up 25.42 percent from 177 a year ago. Pending sales for the month of October reflect the total number of active listings that went under contract and are awaiting closing usually 30 to 60 days in the future.

The cities of Champaign and Savoy reported 71 sales in October, down just four sales from October of last year. The city of Urbana reported 20 sales down two sales from 22 reported in October of 2012.  The north region which includes Rantoul, reported 24 sales, a gain of 50% from October of last year.

The National Association of REALTORS® reports existing-home sales this year are forecast to rise 10 percent to nearly 5.13 million, but should hold fairly even at about 5.12 million in 2014.

The average rate on a fixed rate mortgage for the North Central Region, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), was  4.19 percent in October up from 3.36 percent from October 2013. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, mortgage interest rates are expected to trend upward and reach 5.4 percent by the end of next year.

 “According to the National Association of REALTORS® Homebuyers and Homeseller survey, unnecessarily tight mortgage lending standards are preventing some financially qualified buyers from reaching their dream of homeownership, especially single and first-time buyers,” said Trautman. Nationally, first time-buyers represented 38 percent of the market in the past year, down from 39 percent in 2012. The median age of a first-time buyer was 31 years of age.

“Limited inventory supplies also are having an impact on price performance.  We expect to see more new construction in the new year which will be welcome to help expand inventories,” said Trautman.

The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade organization serving the Champaign County and surrounding areas and is the leading resource for REALTOR® members and an advocate for homeownership and private property rights. Statistics were compiled from local regions of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service which covers Champaign County and surrounding areas.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013/Categories: News Releases