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New home sales double in McLean County and neighboring counties in 2021

Home construction site
Emily Bollinger
/
WGLT
New homes continue to be built in Bloomington-Normal to meet rising demand.

Real estate remains a sellers’ market in McLean County as housing demand keeps prices higher.

Home sales are up 12% through the first three quarters of the year compared with 2020, and home prices are up 11% in McLean, Livingston and DeWitt counties, according to data from the Mid-Illinois Realtors Association (MIRA). That follows a year in which area home sales set records, even during the pandemic.

Hiring sprees from electric automaker Rivian and other employers seem to have spurred some of the demand. Some of those new hires have been staying in hotels and other temporary housing.

New home construction has more than doubled over the last year in McLean, Livingston and DeWitt counties. Eighty-one new homes were sold from January to September, compared with 39 sold during the first nine months of 2020.

MIRA President Jessica Devore said many homes don't stay on the market long because of low inventory and low interest rates.

“We are seeing a lot of situations that are resulting in multiple offers, which tends to drive the price up,” Devore said.

Jessica Devore
EMC PHOTOGRAPHY
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Jessica Devore

New homes are going for $325,000 on average, and the average resale price is approaching $192,000. Both represent double-digit increases in the last year.

Devore said that demand for housing has kept prices high as new homes are built.

“New construction slowed down and not building at a pace that we needed to be at and now they’ve really ramped up and are catching up to demand,” Devore said.

The average price for a new home is up 18% over last year, a reflection of pent-up demand and higher building costs, said Devore.

“Everybody is seeing that, even going to big box stores, just doing home improvement projects you are paying more for materials,” she said, adding some materials costs have dropped from a pandemic peak last year.

MIRA data also show pending sales are up 82% compared to the first three quarters of last year (102 to 56).

Devore indicated booming homes sales in McLean, DeWitt and Livingston counties have bucked the statewide trends, as home sales in Illinois dropped 6.7% in the first nine months of the year.

"I guess we can just say we've been really fortunate," she said.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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