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B-N housing sales stay strong through first 2 months of 2022

A for sale sign is posted on a home.
Matt Rourke
A for sale sign is posted on a home last month in Philadelphia.

The Mid-Illinois Realtors Association said Wednesday home sales are up for the first two months of the year. Sales were up marginally for the McLean, Dewitt, and Livingston County region, but they rose 4% percent in the Bloomington-Normal metro area.

The average price of a home, condo, or zero lot line home sold in January and February rose to $225,000 — up 16.7% from the same period last year in the Twin Cities. The average price for the McLean, Livingston and DeWitt County region was about $193,000 in the same two-month period, according to the association.

Sales of new homes were small in overall numbers, but up substantially from the first two months of last year.

"More properties are being built in anticipation of increased activity in the housing market and strong economic growth," the association said in a news release.

Pending sales at the end of the month were down substantially, 18.8%, for Bloomington-Normal and 14% for the region. The association said that reflects a lack of inventory. Realtors said they expect more existing homes to come on the market as the spring selling season heats up.

The association said mortgage interest rates are rising but remain affordable and won't affect home sales just yet.

“All things considered, rates are still low, meaning that homeownership can be attainable for many families and individuals. As we move into the spring and summer buying and selling season, we anticipate that the market will continue to be volatile. This makes it riskier for borrowers to wait when it comes to locking in their interest rate," said Realtor Rebecca Stiles-Bergquist of Waterstone Mortgage.

On the national front, jobs are playing a huge role in changes to the real estate industry.

“More housing inventory will show up later in the year because jobs in residential construction and for general contractors have been steadily rising. There are 314,000 more workers now compared to March 2020," said National Association of Realtors Chief Economist Lawrence Yun .

Yun said commercial real estate is not as robust as residential.

"There are 136,000 fewer workers in the sector and office buildings remain mostly empty. It appears many Americans took early retirement, as the labor force participation rate is a full one percentage point below what it was before COVID,” said Yun.

The Mid-Illinois Realtors Association said it expects to continue to see positive numbers for the housing market and inventory to improve as peak housing season approaches.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.
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