Real Estate Market In Illinois Gaining Steam Despite Pandemic

ILLINOIS — Although many real estate offices remain closed and open houses are rare because of the pandemic, the housing market in Illinois is on fire.

Illinois Realtors reported sales dipped in April by 14.4 percent before an apparent rebound in May. Inventories also shrunk, making it a sellers’ market.

Keith Thompson, a senior loan officer with First State Mortgage in Bloomington, said a contributing factor may be low interest rates.

“People that were qualified to buy and qualified to refinance were pushed to go ahead and act because when is the last time you saw a 30-year fixed rate at 3 percent or less?” he said.

Mike Oldenettle, the managing broker with ReMax Professionals, said he didn’t know what to expect when the pandemic hit. However, he said Springfield is a hot market.

“The buyers that are looking right now and the buyers that are most serious about buying,” he said. “We have seen multiple offers. Our agents have been busy.”

Ed Neaves, president of Illinois Realtors, said the April dip in sales was most likely related to the pandemic.

“April marked the first full month of Illinois residents adjusting to COVID-19 restrictions and it may have prompted some to temporarily press pause, driving sales and inventory lower for the month,” Neaves said.

A recent S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Index report showed that U.S. home price growth continued to accelerate in the early weeks of the pandemic. When asked what the report means for the housing market, Selma Hepp, deputy chief economist for CoreLogic, pointed to millennials.

“The strength in the home price growth is a testament to pent up demand among millennials who are viewing historically low mortgage rates and lull in the market activity as a unique opportunity to purchase their first home,” he said.

The Center Square – Kevin Bessler

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