February 2024 Market Update

Written on February 5, 2024 by Nick Ward

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 (02/01/2023-1/31/2024) the MLS reported 1,633 sales with a median sale price of $211,000 and a reported average marketing time of 29 days.   For the prior twelve months (02/01/2022-1/31/2023) the MLS reported 1,927 sales with a median sale price of $190,000 and a reported average marketing time of 31 days.

This shows a decrease in the number of sales of 294 homes or -15.3%. The median sale prices saw a 11.1% increase year-over-year. There are currently 123 homes on the market with an average marketing time of 117 days.  This results in a 0.9-month supply of homes in inventory, which is a significant shortage relative to historical supply demand relationships in this market.   Please note that the average marketing time of active listings is significantly above the average for closed sales in the prior 12 months.

  It is noteworthy that January 2024 saw an 8-year high in overall sales volume, and an increase of 63.2% over January of 2023. 

Interest Rates

The Interest Rate Story: 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 2.0% to 3.5% range.  In the first quarter of 2022 we saw a sharp increase in interest rates, peaking in around 7.0%.

Currently, 30-year fixed rate mortgage financing is available at 6.625%.  With the slowing of the rate of inflation is likely that we will see interest rates stabilize at their current point.  Many experts are predicting rates will marginally decrease in the coming year.  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 November 2023 (the last month for which data has been published) there were 110,677 employed people in Champaign County and an unemployment rate of 3.6%. In November 2022 there were 106,508 people employed with an unemployment rate of 3.6%. This results in a 3.9% increase in the number of people employed.     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.


 The primary factor in the residential market is a significant shortage of supply of homes in inventory.  While we are still seeing some houses selling within days and experiencing multiple offer situations, the market is moving more slowly with most properties experiencing longer marketing times.  We are also seeing a split in the market with competitively priced houses selling close to the 30-day average while many other houses sit for 60 to 90 days before a sale.  Many of these properties with longer exposure time see several price reductions prior to coming under contract.  We have also seen a sharp increase in overall sales volume in the past 30 days, which is likely due to decreasing interest rates.  It is likely we will see the release of pent-up demand that may continue into the spring marketing season.

What does this mean to the home seller?  It is highly important that a seller focuses on properly staging their home and completing the necessary updates and repairs to entice the largest pool of potential buyers.  Pricing is also very important, as properties that are priced above the market rate are stagnating on the market.  Properties in good condition that are priced competitively are those experiencing multiple offers and marketing times in one week.

For buyers the decrease in interest rates appears to be increasing competition for desirable properties.  Buyer’s should ensure they are ready to move quickly once the right house is identified and be prepared to handle a multiple-offer situation.

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.

Remember that each particular segment of the market is different. If you are thinking about selling your home, or buying one, the best decision is to contact your Joel Ward Homes REALTOR to obtain current information about the specific segment of the market relevant to your property.