Champaign County Home Sale Rise For 12th Straight Month
By Jim Meadows
Sales of existing homes in Champaign County were up last month from a year ago. The Champaign County Association of Realtors says it’s the 12th month in a row that homes sales have increased.
Association president Todd Salen noted that 60-percent of the homes sold last month were priced under $125,000. He said that reflects a peak interest in entry-level homes, and an increase in first-time home buyers. He describes these buyers as “people who have been thinking for a year or two or three that they wanted to buy a house, but they were really looking for housing prices to stabilize, mortgage interest rates to be reasonable and good buys to be out there”.
Salen said all three factors are strong in the current housing market, creating what he calls “a perfect storm” that attracts buyers who had stayed away during the economic downturn.
Salen said the Champaign County home-buying market now resembles the market of a decade or so ago,
There were 123 home closings in Champaign County last month, up 36-percent from a year ago, with home appreciation rates of 2-to-4 -percent. He said that means that home-buyers can once again expect to build equity while paying off their mortgage, and at the same time see their property values rise.
Sixty of the homes sold in Champaign County in January were in the Champaign/Savoy area, representing a 16-percent increase in sales activity in that region. The Urbana area saw a 250-percent increase, with 28 home sales. And northern Champaign County, including Rantoul, Gifford and Fisher saw 14 home sales, compared to just one sale in January, 2012.