Last year was pretty healthy for the twin city housing market, but 2016 is off to an even better start with close to 5% more sales than a year ago.
Karen Stailey-Lander is president of the Bloomington-Normal Association of Realtors, she says cheaper homes are the most popular. She says new first time buyer programs are part of the reason.
"There are some grants where you actually can qualify with some restrictions of course, for some free money. And we call it a grant because a lot of them, you are forgiven, for example maybe 1-60th of that, so if you say in the house for 5 years, you do not have to pay back that grant."
She says many don't want to pay the new home 'premium.' She says new homes decline in value the first five years or so. Still Stailey-Lander says, people set on moving into a dream home are willing to shoulder the extra cost. 12 new homes sold last month, compared to 10 in February 2015. In all 20 more homes changes hands so far this year compared to the same period 12 months ago. The average price of a home sold last month in Bloomington-Normal was just under $150,000.