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Low Inventory Still A Concern In Thriving Peoria-Area Real Estate Market

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WCBU
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The Peoria-area real estate market is off to a strong start this year, but supply continues to be an issue.

First-quarter home sales were up 15% over the first three months of 2020, according to the Peoria Area Association of Realtors (PAAR). However, PAAR president Jason Catton notes the inventory is at the lowest level he’s seen -- with only around 700 properties newly listed in March.

Catton said that's making things a little difficult for buyers with properties moving so quickly. 

“People that have an existing home, they put it on the market and it sells immediately, and they are now in a position where they need to find something in 40-60 days to match up with their closing,” said Catton. “Otherwise they're going to go live with a family member, or have to try to find something to rent -- and even to find something in our region can be a bit challenging at this moment.”

The first quarter of 2021 saw 1,330 homes sold in the Peoria area, with the largest numbers coming in Pekin, Washington, and East Peoria along with big increases in Peoria Heights, Creve Coeur, and West Peoria. The average sales price of $140,295 represents a 5.6% increase.

The strong figures continue a trend established during a record-setting 2020 that produced to 30% gains in the third and fourth quarters despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Even though we're having a stellar market, our local housing market here is still very affordable,” said Catton, noting the proximity to metropolitans like Chicago and St. Louis as an advantage. “With the work- from-home changes that a lot of companies have made. It really allows people to focus on central Illinois for its affordability and its location.”

Catton said a lack of new construction is contributing to the dwindling inventory, while low interest rates continue to boost the sales. He said it's not uncommon for properties to receive multiple offers, sometimes over the listing price.

“The best advice I can give the buyer is to have a pre-approval in hand prior to viewing any home,” he said. “Potential buyers really need to work with a Realtor in order to streamline the showing process and the offer process and review new listings as soon as possible in order to try to avoid multiple offers.”

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