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C-U housing market

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- The National Association of Realtors lists Champaign-Urbana as the second worst market in the country for home value. But some real estate agents in Central Illinois find that hard to believe.
CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- The National Association of Realtors lists Champaign-Urbana the second worst market in the country for home value. WCIA-3's Gary Brode finds out why.

The ranking is based on the fourth quarter of 2013. Some real estate agents admit it was a tough winter, but they find it hard to believe the C-U area could be ranked so low.

"We weren't really concerned with the housing market. It may seem like there are a lot of these (for sale signs) lately. Actually there are 5 to 6 hundred less on the market than this time last year."

"We purchased our house at a good price. We've updated some things and we're ready to sell it at a good price."

At the end of last year, Champaign-Urbana saw an 11% dip in average home prices. Liz Kellner put her house on the market in December; usually a rough month to sell a home.

"Just sold that and had no problem. Within a few weeks, it sold and came out ahead."

Kellner decided to stay in Urbana.

"I bought this one with the intent of renovating it and fixing it up and hopefully getting some money back on it and doing it again."

President of the Champaign County Association of Realtors says sellers are getting an average of more than 90% percent of the property value.

"It would be hard to take a cut. We haven't been on the market too long and with the amount of traffic we've gotten, we're expecting to get pretty close to our asking price."

From the beginning of January to the end of March, nearly 600 homes were sold in Champaign County; about 35 more than last year. And a lot more signs will be coming off lawns soon.

"I think people are attracted to the community and I would be surprised if people really had that hard of time."

One realtor said the government shutdown was another reason for the market struggles, although another says he's seen the market in the area transition to a sellers' market.

Online real estate company, Zillow, has Champaign-Urbana's average price of homes sold at almost $138,000. Compare that to the state average of $170,000. Zillow predicts home values in C-U will rise 1.4% within the next year and 2.2% statewide.
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