From WILL - News -

Federal Shutdown Hurting Champaign County Home Sales

The federal government’s partial shutdown has taken its toll on those looking to buy a home in some parts of Champaign County.

The president of the local Association of Realtors, Phil Trautman, says the USDA Rural Development Program has been completely shut down. 

He said this is hurting a lot of people in rural areas.

“Any community that has, I believe the population is 10,000 or less, can qualify for these," he said.  "All the small towns – most first-time buyers and small time buyers are looking for a rural development loan.  The interest rate is about the same, but it’s just a looser program for a lower down payment. More less a starter home.”

Trautman also said it will take about a month to see what role the shutdown has on the overall pace of home sales locally.   He said any mortgage loans that had been approved before October 1st is still going through, but everything since could take about a month before the sales are finalized.

“That’s the standard processing time," he said.  "So anything that had been in the pipeline, or it had been approved prior to that is still going through.  And everything in the last week and half could take another three weeks to filter out.”

Sales of existing homes through September in Champaign County are up about 10 percent compared to a year ago. 

Trautman notes the 30 year fixed rate mortgage interest rate has only risen slightly over last September.  It’s at 4.53 percent.

The Association of Realtors says there were 161 pending sales last month.  So far this year, a total of 2,070 residential homes have been sold in Champaign County .