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Local Home Sales Up 6 Percent in 2019

SPRINGFIELD (January 31, 2020). Home sales were up as were home prices in 2019, according to a new year-end report by the Capital Area REALTORS® (CAR).

Home sales in the Capital Area during the month of December 2019 amounted to 339 units, reflecting an increase of 27.9 percent from the 265 home sales recorded in December of 2018. Year-to-date home sales through December of 2019 revealed 4,594 unit sales, up 6 percent from the 4,333 units sold during the same period in 2018.

According to REALTOR® Suzie Sables Duff, president of CAR, 2019 unfolded much like she had anticipated and says there is healthy demand as momentum continues to build in the housing market from growing jobs. "Historically our housing market has remained affordable unlike other areas of the country that have experienced extreme highs in terms of home prices," said Duff.

The median home sale price (for all single-family homes and condominiums) during December 2019 was $120,000, up 12.1 percent over the $107,000 December 2018 price. The median home sale price year-to-date through December of 2019 yielded $125,000, reflecting a 5.9 percent increase over the $118,000 median price during the same period in 2018. "Existing home sales continued to improve in 2019 overall with low inventory supply, pressuring home prices," said Duff. The median is a typical market price where half the homes sold for more, half sold for less.

The inventory of homes listed for sale at the end of December 2019 was 1,227, reflecting a 22.2 percent decrease from the 1,578 listings during December of 2018. Current inventory levels stand at 1,020 homes and reflects a 2.6 month supply at the average monthly sales pace for the past twelve months.

The number of sales pending at the end of December 2019 was 242, as compared to 234 sales pending at the same time in 2018. The average cumulative days on market in December of 2019 was 74 days, as compared to 92 days during the same month in 2018. "The reduced time on market in December of 2019 is a reflection of the modest inventory available," said Duff. The average cumulative days on market for year-to-date through December 2019 was 77 as compared to 83 in 2018.

During 2019 there were 70 new residential construction sales, reflecting a 11.4 percent decrease over the 79 sales in 2018. New construction sales in 2019 made up 1.5 percent of all home sales in the Capital Area. The median price of a new construction sale reported through the MLS in 2019 was $306,500, reflecting a 14.8 percent increase over the $267,000 median price in 2018, and the highest median price on record for new construction sales.

During 2019 there were 219 foreclosure sales, reflecting 4.8 percent of all home sales in the Capital Area, the lowest on record since the MLS began tracking these numbers in 2014. There were 236 foreclosure sales in 2018 and 234 in 2017. The median price of a foreclosure sale in 2019 was $37,100, up from $36,250 in 2018 as well as the $35,250 price in 2017.

Duff says she sees the outlook for real estate in 2020 as modestly improving. "We continue to be cautiously optimistic in the outlook for the coming year. The underlying conditions are there for a strong year. The economy continues to thrive, and mortgage rates are expected to remain very favorable in 2020. If we increase our affordable housing inventory, we will likely see a very good year in our housing market,” Duff added.

The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. reported that the national average commitment rate for 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgages was 3.72 percent in December 2019, down from the 4.64 average rate during December of 2018. The average 30-year rate for 2019 was 3.94 percent versus 4.54 in 2018. The Capital Area REALTORS® is the Voice for Real Estate in the

Capital Area representing more than 900 members involved in all aspects of the real estate industry. The Capital Area's Resource for Real Estate Information can be found at www.SeeHouses.com.

CLICK HERE for statistical reports.

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