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January Home Sales Continue to Show Uptick in Activity

Buyers Tap Into Entry Level Home Market

Champaign, Illinois, February 12, 2013 -- The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® reported area home sales continued on an upward trend in January as buyers were intense on locking in on entry-level homes as well as foreclosed inventory. Closed units of 123 represented a gain of 36% over January 2012. There were 160 listings under contract in January, an increase of 8.84 percent over January 2012 from 147 a year ago. Total closed dollar volume of $16,625,172 in January was up 20.34 percent from $13,814.765 in January a year ago. January marks the twelfth straight month in a row in which home sales were up over the prior year.

"Momentum is continuing in the Champaign County area with greater buyer foot traffic leading to the positive performance of the local real estate market here. Weather conditions which typically affect winter home sales have had minimal impact on the market so far. With solid fundamentals in place due to record low mortgage rates and steady job growth, interested buyers and renters are seizing homeownership opportunities," said Todd Salen, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.

According to CCAR, the median home sale price was $101,000 down 24 percent from December. The monthly average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage for the North Central region was 3.39 percent in January 2013, up 3.32 percent from December 2013, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. Last January it averaged 3.94 percent.

"Sixty percent of the homes sold in January were priced under $125,000 so there definitely was a peak interest in entry level homes. Homes priced on the lower end of the market were quickly snatched up by many investors and first-time buyers," said Salen, broker with Sperry Van Ness/ Ramshaw Real Estate in Champaign.

The 28 home sales in the Urbana area represent a 250 percent gain compared to 8 sales in January a year ago. The city of Champaign/Savoy reported an increase of 16 percent in home sales activity to 50 sales versus 43 a year ago. There were 14 sales in the north region which includes Rantoul, Fisher and Gifford versus one sale a year ago.

"A healthy real estate market leads to positive ripple affects that generate a significant economic impact to the Champaign-Urbana area economy. Any time someone purchases a home there are other direct and indirect expenditures that occur as a result," said Salen. "We anticipate sales this spring to be even stronger than last year as long as we continue to see new inventory growth. We don't want to see significant pressure put on prices with reduced inventory levels. Sellers should see this as an opportune time to make their real estate move to list their property and take advantage of this robust activity."

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. Statistics were compiled from local regions of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS® Multiple Listing Service which covers Champaign County and surrounding areas.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013/Categories: News Releases