What you are reading above is the headline in the Peoria Journal Star today. What you can read below is the story that ran under it. Statistically, when looking at the entire market, that headline is correct. However within our Peoria area market, we have stats for 18 different communities, 6 counties and a whole host of other data (such as style of home, price point of home, size of home, etc) that can show a dramatically different 2016 result. Read the article below to get the overall picture, then click on a few of the other blog posts I will be adding to did into the details further.
By Matt Buedel
Journal Star Caterpillar/industry reporter
PEORIA – Home sales in the Peoria area all but held steady in 2016, buoyed by a surprise increase in fourth quarter purchases to maintain annual sales levels well above a handful of previous years.
The Peoria Area Association of Realtors recorded 5,454 home sales in 2016, a 0.8 percent decline from the 5,499 houses sold in 2015. After a year-over-year decline of more than 10 percent in the third quarter, home sales in the fourth quarter rose by 1.3 percent.
The figures reflect the stability of a mid-sized Midwestern market in a year of jarring shifts in politics and local work force reductions, said PAAR President Janna Heffron.
“We had all these changes happening, and buyers didn’t seem to care,” Heffron said. “Here, in the Peoria region, we are a conservative real estate market.”
Home sales in 2015 and 2016 represented the highest figures since 2008, and a significant increase since 4,210 homes sold in 2011. Recent figures far exceed historical troughs from the early 1980s – only 1,239 homes sold in 1982.
The sales figures for December included a surprise increase of 5.7 percent in homes priced from $175,000 to $225,000. The increase came at a time when property sales typically taper off ahead of the more traditional spring sales season.
Dallas Hancock, CEO of PAAR, said the prospect of rising interest rates could be spurring property purchases.
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“People are concerned about interest rates, so that motivates them,” Hancock said.
The median home sale price in 2016 was $118,000 – a decline of 1.7 percent from $120,000 in 2015. The average sale price declined 2.8 percent to $141,757 in 2016.
It took an average of 83 days to sell a house in the Peoria market in 2016, with homes in the $125,000 to $175,000 price range the quickest to sell, with an average of 72 days on the market.
A study of 200 of the largest cities in the U.S. also showed the rate of millennial home ownership to be growing fastest in the Peoria area over the last decade. Heffron said the home ownership rate among people younger than 35 grew 8 percent from 2006 to 2015, creating greater demand for less expensive homes and allowing sellers from those markets to move into higher brackets.
Matt Buedel is the Journal Star business reporter. He can be reached at 686-3154 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JournoBuedel.
To read the full report in the Peoria Journal Star, Click here.