Home sales up

A sale-pending sign sits outside a home on North State Street in Champaign.

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CHAMPAIGN — Home sales and home prices increased in October, according to the Champaign County Association of Realtors.

Last month, 272 homes were sold in the Champaign County area, up more than 14 percent from the 237 sold in the same month a year ago.

And year-to-date, 2,613 homes have been sold, which is up more than 10 percent through the same period last year.

“Buyer activity remains higher than normal for this time of year when we typically start to see a slowdown going into winter months,” said Liz McDonald, president of the local real-estate association.

Homes sold last month for a median price of $167,250, up more than 5 percent from $159,000 last October.

And the average price increased 8.5 percent, from $173,576 a year ago to $188,334.

There’s also an increase of sales that are about to close, with 211 pending sales in October, up 30.2 percent from a year ago.

Homes sold in an average of 82 days, down 3.2 percent from 85 a year ago.

McDonald attributed the increase in home sales to COVID-19 and lower interest rates.

“Homes have become more important than ever as buyers seek a place to live, work and play as the coronavirus has led buyers to reassess their housing situations,” she said. “As mortgage rates dropped to another record low in October, this has helped to offset the monthly mortgage payment increases caused by increases in home prices.”

The average 30-year fixed rate mortgage was 2.82 percent in October, according to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., down from 3.69 percent a year ago and 2.89 percent in September.

Nationally, home sales were up 26.6 percent in October compared with a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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