Updated: Home sales up for sixth consecutive month
CHAMPAIGN — Home sales in the Champaign area rose in May for a sixth consecutive month, relative to the same months last year.
A total of 305 homes were sold in May, up from 295 homes in May 2013, according to the Champaign County Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service.
During the first five months of this year, 943 homes were sold, up from 889 sales in the first five months of 2013.
The brisk sales indicate "pent-up demand on the part of buyers who are eager to complete their home purchases this summer," said Phil Trautman, president of the association and managing broker of Champaign County Realty.
Also up: the median home sale price.
The median price in May was $143,000, up 10 percent from the May 2013 price of $130,000. For the first five months of this year, the median sales price was $136,000, up 4.6 percent from $130,000 in the first five months of 2013. The median price is the point at which half the homes sold for more while half sold for less.
"Sellers looking to move up in this market should see this as a ripe opportunity as buyers are looking for more inventory options," Trautman said.
Fewer than 500 homes are listed in the Champaign-Savoy region, an unusually low number for May and June, he said.
"We need more inventory for buyers to take advantage of," he added.
Sales appear poised to remain strong in coming months. The association reported 330 pending sales in May, up from 310 pending sales a year earlier. Pending sales reflect the number of active listings under contract that are awaiting closing — usually in the next 30 to 60 days.
Trautman said it's unusual for pending sales to outnumber closed sales. But that bodes well for June. Though May is generally one of the stronger months for home sales, June is historically the busiest, he said.
For active listings in the city of Champaign, average time on the market was 95 days, Trautman said. But for pending sales in the city of Champaign, average time on the market was only 71 days.
Active listings inevitably include some homes that are "overpriced" and "lingering" on the market, while pending sales are under contract and "theoretically priced right," Trautman said.
Mortgage rates in May remained higher than a year earlier, but a little lower than in April.
According to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., the average commitment rate in the North Central region for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.15 percent in May, up from 3.55 percent in May 2013 but down from 4.34 percent in April of this year.
Dollar sales volume for May was $49.4 million, up from $46.2 million in May 2013. Sales volume for the first five months of this year totaled $147.1 million, up 10.6 percent from $133 million for the first five months of 2013.
The Multiple Listing Service includes listings in Champaign County and parts of surrounding counties.
SALES INCREASES BY REGION
Here's how much home sales in various areas were up in May, compared with May 2013:
Mahomet-Monticello region, +77.4%
Champaign-Savoy region, +7.14%
Urbana region, unchanged
Source: Champaign County Association of Realtors, Multiple Listing Service