CHAMPAIGN — Home sales in the Champaign County area continue to surge, with October sales up 29 percent from the previous year.
Certain parts of the area are enjoying even faster growth, according to the Champaign County Association of Realtors.
The association's western region — which includes Mahomet, Monticello and White Heath — saw a 150 percent increase in October sales. Thirty homes in that region were sold last month, up from 12 a year earlier.
For the first 10 months of this year, sales in the Champaign County area were running 21 percent ahead of the same months in 2011, according to figures from the association's Multiple Listing Service.
From January through October, 2,059 single-family homes were sold, up from 1,700 during the same months last year.
The trend may well continue, judging from pending sales — listings that are under contract but awaiting closing, usually within 30 to 60 days.
Pending home sales in October were 44 percent higher than a year earlier.
Todd Salen, the association's president, said the high level of pending sales indicates fourth-quarter sales in the Champaign County area are likely to be even greater than expected.
Historically low mortgage rates are driving much of the demand, he said.
In October, the average rate of a fixed-rate mortgage in the nation's North Central Region was 3.35 percent, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp.
If job growth and consumer confidence continue to improve, housing sales should continue to grow in 2013, said Salen, a broker with Sperry Van Ness/Ramshaw Real Estate in Champaign.
The median price of homes sold in the Champaign County area during October was $141,400, up 5 percent from the same month last year.
The median price is the point at which half the homes sold for more and half sold for less.
Houses may be selling a little quicker, too.
In October, the typical home for sale in the Champaign County area had been on the market for 79 days. A year earlier, the typical home for sale had been on the market 99 days.
The association's Multiple Listing Service covers Champaign County and portions of Piatt and Douglas counties.