Champaign County Area Median Home Prices Increase in August, Sales Stay Cool
Residential home sales in the Champaign County area were lower in August from a year ago, while the median home prices showed positive gains, according to the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®.
The total number of residential homes sold in the Champaign County area decreased 12.75 percent in August with 260 homes sold compared to 298 sales in August of 2018. The year-to-date number of home sales are off by 8.93 percent with 1,918 homes reported sold so far this year.
Meanwhile, the median home sale price rose 14 percent to $165,500 in August from $145,000 in the same month a year ago. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half for less. The year-to-date August 2019 median sale price stood at $155,000 up 1.51 percent through the same period a year ago when the price reported in at $152,700.
The average home sale price rose 11.52 percent in August to $191,651 from $171,853 in August a year ago.
Inventory levels declined slightly by 1.0 percent to 905 homes. New listings were up overall by 5.2 percent to 303 across the area in August. Houses were on the market for an average of 75 days, down 1.9 percent compared to 76 days a year ago in August.
Pending sales, a sign of future real estate activity, were up 4.9 percent to 213 pending home sales from 203 a year ago. Pending sales for the month of August reflect the total number of active listings that went under contract and are awaiting closing, usually 30 to 60 days in the future.
“Consumer optimism in the market should remain steady in the fall as low mortgage rates persist, attracting future potential buyers looking to purchase a home and helping to increase their purchasing power,” said Eric Porter, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS®. “While consumers remain confident in the market, domestic and global economic issues and potential uncertainty may continue to cloud the market this fall.”
The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage for the month of August was 3.62 percent according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, down from 4.55 percent in August of 2018 and down from 3.77 percent in July of 2019. For the week ending September 19th, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 3.73 percent.
“More supply of moderately priced homes is needed to help close the gap on what buyers are searching for and what’s on the market,” said Porter. “As summer winds down and competition lessons, buyers may find greater negotiating power with sellers in order to entice a sale.”
According to the July National Association of REALTORS® Pending Home Sales Index, though home sales will get a short-term boost from lower mortgage rates, nationally existing home sales are likely to be flat at 5.34 million in 2019. The Federal Reserve voted to cut interest rates by a quarter-percentage point on Sept. 18th in efforts to cushion the economy from a major slowdown. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun indicates the Federal Reserve should have been bolder and made a deeper rate cut, given current low inflation rates. “The housing sector has been broadly underperforming but there is huge upward potential there that will help our overall economy grow,” he said in the August NAR Existing Home Sales Report.
The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index inched up 0.1 points to reach a new high point in August. Falling mortgage rates were primarily responsible for the trend, as more people expected lower mortgage rates will continue on the horizon as well as expectations it would be easier to qualify for a mortgage.
The Champaign County Association of REALTORS® is a voluntary trade organization serving Champaign County and surrounding areas and is a leading resource and an advocate for homeownership and private property rights. Statistics are from residential sales within Champaign County area. Data compiled by Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC as available on September 14, 2019.
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