November home sales down, but 2013 ahead of 2012
CHAMPAIGN — November home sales in the Champaign County area were down from a year earlier, but yearly sales continued to run ahead of 2012, the Champaign County Association of Realtors reported.
The association's Multiple Listing Service said 159 single-family homes were sold in November, down from 175 in November 2012. That's a decrease of 9 percent.
In the first 11 months of this year, 2,397 homes were sold, an increase of 7 percent from the 2,234 homes sold during the same period last year.
In terms of dollar value, sales for the first 11 months totaled $376 million, up 5 percent from $357 million for the same period in 2012.
In a release, association President Phil Trautman cited two factors contributing to slower November sales.
"In the fourth quarter, we are seeing a decrease in the number of corporate relocations and bank-owned property sales, which are contributing to slower off-season sales," said Trautman, broker/owner of Champaign County Realty in Champaign.
He chalked up some of the slowdown to lower consumer confidence.
"There were some residual side effects from the temporary government shutdown in October that spilled over to affect consumer confidence and sidelined some potential buyers in November," he added.
Even though interest rates are projected to rise in 2014, Trautman said some factors may help lift home sales.
Those factors include the creation of more jobs and the easing of mortgage underwriting standards, he said.
The national average commitment rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.27 percent in November, up from 3.33 percent a year earlier, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.
Trautman said a rise of 25 basis points on a 30-year, fixed-rate loan "could cost borrowers thousands of dollars over the life of the loan."
In November, the median home sales price in the Champaign County area was $130,000, down from $140,000 in November 2012. The median price is the point at which half the homes sold for more and half sold for less. For the first 11 months of this year, the median sales price was $137,000.
One encouraging statistic from the monthly report was that pending sales in November were higher than a year earlier. Pending sales are active listings that went under contract and are awaiting closing, usually in 30 to 60 days.
There were 174 pending sales in November, up from 134 a year earlier.
The association's Multiple Listing Service covers sales in Champaign County and parts of Douglas and Piatt counties.
In November, sales were up from a year earlier in the Champaign-Savoy region and in the southern region, which includes Arcola and Tolono.Sales in the western region, which includes Mahomet, were down slightly from a year ago, and sales in the Urbana region were down 33 percent.