Home sales are trending up as the average prices fell again in Jan. 2013. (photo courtesy National Association of Realtors)
By Zach Dietmeier
BLOOMINGTON - 2013 is starting strong for the Bloomington-Normal housing market.
Home sales are up over 30 percent through January with 150 units sold. Bloomington-Normal Association of Realtors President Thom Jones said several factors are continuing to drive sales.
"The first-time home buyers are taking advantage of some of the programs that are still available out there while financing has climbed up a little bit," Jones said. "I think some of that is investment because of the low interest rate but some of it is lower home prices."
The average home price in January was $144,821, down from December's $155,000. Jones said that's another indication of first-time buyers entering home ownership, and he expected the buying trend to be continuing into 2013.
"It shows that the market is continuing to improve and we've had positive numbers for the last three or four months," Jones said.
Jones added home prices really aren't an indication of struggling sales but rather a recovering market.
"This year in January, 58 percent of the homes sold were below $150,000," Jones said. "Last year it was 46 percent. You've got a higher mix or lower priced-point homes that would seem to show price sales on a decline."
Jones said another sign of a recovering housing market is the time homes are spending on the block. The average days on market for homes sold last month came in at 107. In 2012, the average market home sold after 153 days.
Zach Dietmeier can be reached at email@example.com.