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Home Sales Rise In April, But Tight Inventory Still Hampers

Offices of the Champaign County Association of Realtors, in Savoy, IL.

CHAMPAIGN – April home sales were up sharply from a year ago in Illinois, while rising more modestly in Champaign County.

The Champaign County Association of Realtors reports 272 homes were sold in the Champaign County area in April, a 3.42% increase over the 263 homes sold in April, 2020.

But statewide, home sales increased 35.3% from a year earlier.  16,623 homes were sold in April, while 12,289 homes sold in April 2020, according to the trade group Illinois Realtors.

The numbers continue a trend of increasing home sales but limited inventory during the COVID-19 pandemic. After a decline in early spring of last year during a state-imposed lockdown, home sales around Illinois have continued to improve.

Some parts of Illinois reported especially high increases in the number of homes sold. Illinois Realtors says the nine-county Chicago area reported 12,142 houses and condominiums sold in April, a 39.7% improvement over a year ago.

CCAR President Liz McDonald says the problem in Champaign County is a shortage of existing homes for sale, and a slowdown in new construction, due to shortages of labor and building materials. Meanwhile, she says other parts of the state seem to have more homes on sale.

“We’re still pretty tight in Champaign County,” said McDonald. “So, in some of the larger metropolitan areas, more homes have started to come on the market. And that’s allowing more home buyers to find homes.”

McDonald says the shortage of housing inventory in Champaign County puts those who are ready to sell in a Catch-22 position.

“There’s people that would be willing to sell their homes, but they are in the same crunch,” said McDonald. “They don’t know where they’re going next, because there might not be a home available for them to buy. So, it’s a tough situation right now.”

McDonald says she hopes inventory will improve as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, and people feel more confident.

Meanwhile, she notes there were 292 pending home sales reported in April for the Champaign County area, an increase from last year of 18.7%.

Home prices continued to go up. CCAR reports the median home sale price for the Champaign County area in April was $170,500, increase of 7.57% from the $158,500 reported a year ago. The average home sale price for April was $192,509, up 6.14% from the $181,379 reported a year ago.

Illinois Realtors reports the statewide median home sale price in April was $260,000, up 14.5% from the $227,000 reported in April 2020.

CCAR cited data compiled by Midwest Real Estate Data. Illinois Realtors cited data from Midwest Real Estate Data, Multiple Listing Service and participating local Illinois Realtors boards.

Follow Jim on Twitter @WILLJimMeadows.

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Jim Meadows

Jim Meadows has been covering local news for WILL Radio since 2000, with occasional periods as local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered and a stint hosting WILL's old Focus talk show. He was previously a reporter at public radio station WCBU in Peoria.

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