Here in Champaign County the real estate market is indisputably seasonal, and with the 3rd quarter of 2011 behind us, sales activity will ease into the holidays and eventually pick back up after the 1st of a brand-new year. It’s a perfect time for evaluating the year to-date, so let’s take a look at how our local market is doing…
There’s no doubt we’re still facing many of the same challenges that we’ve been up against for a few years now. Our inventory of homes on the market has been hovering around 2,000 since the beginning of 2010 and for 2011 thus far we’ve averaged 2,029 homes on the market. With this much competition, sellers are forced to engage their homes in both a beauty contest and a price war. Meanwhile buyers have an abundance of homes to choose from and, for now, are still enjoying record-low interest rates.
While we ended 2010 with an average sale price of $148,082 the average sale price for the first three quarters of 2011 stands at $139,393, approximately a 6% decrease. What’s fascinating, and certainly partially to blame for the decline in average price, is that the total number of sales in the price range of $1 to $50,000 is on track to be TWICE as many in 2011 as in 2010! In other words, we’re seeing more foreclosures this year than we have in years past, and that my friends will bring prices down.
On the other hand, we’re currently on track to end the year with more residential sales total than last year, a promising outlook. Right now our absorption rate is at 9 months compared to 13 months this same time last year, and over the past three months we’ve seen a slight but nonetheless upward price trend. While anything could happen over the next quarter to finish out the year, these small victories are worth acknowledging.
*Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed to be accurate. After all, I’m only human 😉