Solid information about our local market is helpful for everyone, and especially for our clients who are thinking about entering a real estate transaction this year.
This update is based upon information supplied by the Champaign County Association of REALTORS Multiple Listing Service for all attached and detached single-family properties in Champaign, Savoy or Urbana. It is important to keep in mind that specific segments of the market may have performed better or worse than the overall market analyzed below.
Comparing the Last 12 Months with the Previous 12 Months
For the most recent twelve months (04/01/2021-3/31/2022) the MLS reported 2,083 sales with a median sale price of $182,500 and a reported average marketing time of 40 days. For the prior twelve months (04/01/2020-3/31/2021) the MLS reported 2,006 sales with a median sale price of $172,500 and a reported average marketing time of 9 days.
This shows an increase in the number of sales of 77 homes or 3.8%. The median sale prices saw a 5.8% increase. There are currently 119 homes on the market with an average marketing time of 110 days. This results in a 0.6-month supply of homes in inventory, which is a significant shortage relative to historical supply demand relationships in this market.
Most notably, while sales volume is up 3.8% year-over-year, the first quarter of 2022 has seen sales volume return to more average levels. This is highlighted in the graph below. Additionally, we are seeing even shorter marketing times as the velocity of the market continues to be very strong.
The Interest Rate Story: For most of 2017, 30-year fixed rate mortgages were available from 3.75% to 4.125%. Interest rates increased rapidly in January and February of 2018 and had remained relatively stable within the range of 4.5% to 4.75%. In September 2018, rates moved as high as 5% before starting to decline as the year ended. In 2020, rates varied from 3.5% to 3.6% through March. During the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic the Federal Reserve cut the interest rate, which resulted in more volatile interest rants that fluctuated within the 2.5% to 3.5% range. Since then, interest rates have begun to slowing increase, with more significant increases in the first quarter of 2022.
Currently, 30-year fixed rate mortgage financing is available at 5.00%. Many experts are projecting interest rates to increase over the coming 12 months. Please note that the interest rate can vary significantly between lending institutions and borrower qualifications. Contact your Joel Ward Homes agent for recommendations!
Local Employment Analysis
The close connection between employment levels and the strength of housing markets has been well established, both locally and on a national basis. In February 2022 (the last month for which data has been published) there were 110,483 employed people in Champaign County and an unemployment rate of 4.2% In December 2020 there were 103,627 people employed with an unemployment rate of 5.1%. This results in a 6.6% increase in the number of people employed. The current rate of unemployment is consistent with the rates since prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.
What follows is a graph showing the number of jobs in Champaign County, by month, based upon non-seasonally adjusted U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
It is most notable that there is a significant shortage of homes in inventory, which is putting upward pressure on sales prices. This is most likely due to the combination of pent-up demand being released as well as buyers pushing to get under contract in anticipation of rising interest rates.
What does this mean to the home seller? We are still seeing atypically short marketing times and high sales prices. The shortage of homes available, combined with increasing trend of interest rates are continuing to push sale prices upward. It is likely this will stabilize as interest rates level out, but it is currently an excellent time to sell for top dollar. Contact your Joel Ward Homes REALTOR for the best options!
For buyers, the primary concern is the rising interest rates. Rates have currently increased one percentage point from 4% to 5% since the end of 2021 and are projected to continue to increase. This makes it important for buyers to move quickly and lock in long-term financing to offset risks posed by inflation and increasing interest rates. The current supply of homes in inventory is exceedingly low, which is likely going to make it more difficult to find suitable housing. Buyers in most market segments should be prepared for multiple-offer situations and offers above list price. This makes it even more important for your REALTOR to stay current on all homes which are listed for sale and meet your criteria.
Overall, Champaign-Urbana real estate has proven to be a good investment over time with an average annual appreciation rate of 2.6% since 2000, and this includes the 2009-2013 financial crisis and recession.