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Home sales dramatically rise from July '10 totals, but market remains 'fragile'

CHAMPAIGN — It took five months, but Jennifer Kam finally found the house she wanted in Champaign-Urbana.

Kam, a new assistant professor in the University of Illinois Department of Communications, came from Columbus, Ohio, where she was on the Ohio State faculty.

"I looked at 20 to 25 houses in person" and many more online, Kam said.


Danville 'porch walk' aims to bring people downtown

DANVILLE — When Jacqueline Ward went house hunting in Danville's west downtown neighborhood several years ago, she had one main criteria in mind: a front porch.


Fisher lumber store 'will be missed'

FISHER — The village of Fisher had a lumber company for more than a century. But no more.

Fisher Lumber & Building Supply's last day of business was July 30. Later this month, the buildings at 102 E. Front St. — and the inventory of lumber, hardware, tools and trucks — will be sold during a two-day liquidation.


Residents: Housing authority should help more with move

CHAMPAIGN — Asked to leave their homes, Section 8 residents who say they cannot find new rentals have set up outside the Housing Authority of Champaign County headquarters on Wednesday to ask the agency for more help.

"We're kind of out there alone trying to find places," said resident Margaret Neil, who also serves on the housing authority board.


June home sales in Champaign County decline about 18% from 2010

CHAMPAIGN — Home sales for the first six months of 2011 were down about 18 percent from the same period last year, according to the Champaign County Association of Realtors.

The total dollar volume for those months was $150.8 million, down from $184.9 million for the same period in 2010, figures from the association's Multiple Listing Service show.


Slow market leading some homeowners to seek renters

CHAMPAIGN — People unable to sell their houses often resort to renting them out, the president of the Champaign County Association of Realtors said.

Max Mitchell cites the case of a client who bought a home on South Johnson Avenue in Urbana for $114,900 in 2005.


Dynegy decision leaves Vermilion Fishing Club members reeling

DANVILLE — With sweat dripping from his face, 72-year-old Harold Williams was fighting the heat and humidity last week tearing down his camp site on the Vermilion Fishing Club's grounds that have been his summer getaway from his Florida home for more than 11 years.


Georgia firm to lead housing redevelopment

CHAMPAIGN — A private developer from Atlanta has been chosen to help orchestrate redevelopment at the sites of Joann Dorsey Homes and Dunbar Court.

Both of those low-income housing complexes are expected to be demolished late this year or early next year to make way for new housing.


Home sales up, but lag compared with 2010

CHAMPAIGN — Home sales picked up in May, but continued to run behind year-ago sales, figures from the Champaign County Association of Realtors show.

The number of sales in May was up nearly 33 percent from April, but down about 11 percent from May 2010, according to figures from the association's Multiple Listing Service.


Couple sees positives from home purchase

URBANA — Whitney and Aadeel Akhtar said they didn't worry much about the possibility of declining home values when they bought a home in Urbana's Savannah Green subdivision last month.