Positive news for local housing market

By WEEK Producer

July 16, 2013 Updated Jul 16, 2013 at 9:50 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Homes for sale in the Peoria area are spending less time on the market and selling for higher prices.

The Peoria Area Association of Realtors 2013 second quarter results are showing fewer homes on the market and more people looking to buy.

"This tightening on the inventory is causing the prices to increase and the days on the market to drop. Days on the market are down 15 percent,” said Peoria Area Association of Realtors President John Purple.

That takes the average amount of days a home is for sale from 100 days to 85 days.

Since 2012 the median home price is at $125,000 up 2.5 percent from $122,000. The average sale price is up 1.5 percent.

Purple said overall sales in the area are up 8.4 percent which benefits more than just the real estate business.

"For every house sold there's on average over 20,000 is spent into the economy on furnishings, upgrades and remodels,” said Purple.

He said in 2012 more than 4,900 properties were sold, pumping more than $98 million into the local economy.

The impact is amplified with new construction adding jobs and increased opportunities in the construction trade.

"We've added more staff to get more people in the field to make sure things are done properly," said David Whitehurst of P&W Builders.

Whitehurst said new homes and neighborhoods are a positive sign in a community.

"If the housing market is failing the local area is failing. If the housing market is booming than the local area is booming,” said Whitehurst.

John Purple said the only thing that could threaten the recovery is the increasing mortgage rates that have edged up from 4.3 percent to 4.5 percent.

“It could put a little on the market as the rates continue to rise. Each percentage point of the interest rate reduces the buying power so that could slow things a little bit,” he said.

However, Purple said he is optimistic going into the 3rd quarter.