Housing numbers up for Central Illinois

By WEEK Producer

April 17, 2012 Updated Apr 18, 2012 at 10:01 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill -- There is some positive news for the Peoria housing market today. The Peoria Area Association of Realtors, or PAAR, reports first quarter sales are up 21.4% compared to the first quarter of 2011.

Median prices also jumped about 11 percent. The average sales price is up about 7.2 percent. The PAAR president says warm weather and record-low mortgage rates are helping fuel activity in the local market, among other factors.

PAAR president, Laura Martin said, "Income tax returns, end of the year bonuses, things like that contribute to it as well, and we're kind of watching new construction also to see what's going to happen there, because that had slowed down, but we're seeing a lot of people that are contracting to build their own houses right now."

The Twin Cities housing market is also seeing a boost. According to the Bloomington-Normal Association of Realtors. First quarter home sales are up 21% from this time last year.

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