Listen to this article

CHAMPAIGN — While home sales increased last month compared to a year ago, sales are down year-to-date in Champaign County.

In October, 237 homes were sold in Champaign County, up 4.9 percent from a year ago, when 226 were sold, according to the Champaign County Association of Realtors.

Year-to-date, 2,364 homes have been sold, down 6.9 percent from 2,539 through October last year.

And sales could be down the rest of the year. There are currently 170 pending sales, 10 fewer than at the same time last year.

Julie Roth, president of the local real estate association, said low mortgage rates may be encouraging people to buy more expensive homes.

“That reduces what someone would pay with their mortgage, so they can afford more,” she said.

Other numbers of note:

— The median home sale price rose 12 percent over the last year, from $142,000 in October 2018 to $159,000 last month.

— The average home sale price rose 2.1 percent, from $170,016 a year ago to $173,576 in October.

— The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage in October was 3.69 percent, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation. That’s up from 3.61 percent in September and down from 4.83 percent a year ago.

— Nationwide, home sales increased 4.6 percent in October compared to a year ago, and across Illinois, they were down 2.9 percent.