CHAMPAIGN — More homes were sold in March in the Champaign County area than in any March before, according to the local real-estate association.
Last month, 265 homes were sold, up from 225 the year before, according to the Champaign County Association of Realtors, and more than the previous March record of 258 in 2006.
So far this year, 570 homes have been sold, up 16 percent through this point a year ago.
Meanwhile, the median home-sale price increased 9.6 percent in March to $169,900 from $155,000 a year ago.
“Normal spring increases in sales activity, coupled with relaxing COVID-19 policies, created a very busy March real-estate market as buyer demand continued pushing ahead despite rising home prices,” said Liz McDonald, the association’s president.
McDonald said there continues to be tight inventory, leading homes to sell quickly.
In March, the average home sold after 79 days on the market, down from 112 days a year ago.
“While many homebuilders are working to increase their production, the cost of lumber and other materials and a backlogged supply chain continue to limit and slow new-home construction, putting more pressure on existing home sales inventory,” McDonald said.
“The U.S. housing market is experiencing a historic boom that was not anticipated and is expected to continue for several more months. The sluggish inventory levels are leaving more buyers in competition with one another for homes that are on the market and thus putting pressure on prices.
“We are hopeful that as people get back into regular routines and more individuals receive COVID vaccines, we should see a greater uptick in inventory levels as sellers feel comfortable listing their homes for sale,” she added.
Buyers continue to benefit from relatively low mortgage rates. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.08 percent in March, down from 3.45 a year ago, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.