Champaign County Luxury Homes…
For some, this is not a phrase that comes to mind very often or very easily in the Champaign area. Visions of relaxed mid-western neighborhoods with traditional 3 Bedroom/2 Bath home and median price ranges are the easiest images to conjure up. Rest assured that the Champaign County luxury home market not only exists but it has remained active with some remarkable stability over the past few years.
The luxury home market for any given area is typically classified as the top 10% of transactions with a minimum value of $500,000. In Champaign County the top 10% of CCAR (Champaign County Association of Realtors) home sales would include properties priced around $275,000. As great as these homes can be, I think we can all agree that they wouldn’t fit the luxury home image. Accordingly, we see our luxury homes segment start at $500k.
The chart at left shows a range of 17 to 34 luxury home sales per year for the past 5 years with 17 last year. This is down by only 3 sales from the prior 2 years demonstrating somewhat consistent demand. MLS (Multiple Listing Service) statistics on the luxury sales are well off the peak of 33 sales for the 12 month period ending April 2008. That year 12 of the reported sales were new construction builds, double the counts from the each of the last 3 years. This slowdown in new construction is one area of our local market that has copied the national trends. Overall, 20-24 luxury home sales per year would be a consistent and workable total for the current Champaign real estate market.
Days on Market and % of Asking Price, other key stats for the last year, made noticeable changes. Days on market dropped well under the 5 year average of 104 days. This is most likely a reflection in the reduction of luxury new construction inventory as well as the volatility in calculating this number for such a small group of homes. The % of asking price a seller receives for luxury homes was only slightly lower than the overall MLS average of 95.8%. This is a good sign for luxury home sellers as it shows there was adequate demand at these price points.
The average sale price of Champaign’s luxury home market has fluctuated slightly but remains close to the 5 year average of $608,000. Part of this stability may be attributed to the steadily increasing cost of building materials (lumber, shingles, copper, etc.). If you are thinking about building one of these properties now would be an excellent time to start the investment. With commodity prices and interest rates set to rise the expense will only increase.
With one exception, the highest prices for CCAR luxury home sales have been slightly under $1million dollars (read in your best Dr. Evil impersonation) over the past 5 years. The top reported sale was $1,500,000 in 2009 for a great property in N. Mahomet sitting on 8 acres.
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