CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — After a brief rise earlier this year, the number of home sales in Champaign County took a dip in the month of April.

The Champaign County Association of Realtors reported that the number of home sales in April totaled 188. While higher than February’s total sales of 130, the number is down from both March’s total of 210 and the previous April’s total of 255.

In March, the CCAR said that more inventory was the key to getting the housing market out of its slump. While inventory is higher this month (669) than it was the previous month (635), it’s still lower than the 825 from a year ago.

That slight increase in inventory, the CCAR said, is still not enough to prevent home sales from being suppressed. One housing expert indicated at recent legislative meetings in Washington D.C. that more than 1.1 million homes need to be built a year to have a meaningful impact on the lack of inventory.

“While we have had an increase in inventory month-to-month, listings are still down considerably from where they were a year ago and that continues to impact home sales,” said CCAR President P.J. Trautman. “The number of new listings is also below normal levels than what we see this time of year,” said CCAR President P.J. Trautman.

New listings in April of 2023 were down from 288 the year before to 222, a difference of 23%.

The other thing that Trautman said is suppressing home sales is higher mortgage rates, something he’s blamed in the past. The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan was 6.34% in April, down from 6.54% the month before but higher than the 4.98% from a year earlier.

 “Ongoing tighter market conditions, inventory shortages, fluctuating mortgage rates and liquidity challenges are all impacting affordability in today’s market,” Trautman said. “Many first-time buyers are struggling to reach the first rung of the homeownership ladder as they face competition from other buyers, including all-cash buyers. Buyers definitely should not make a hasty decision on purchasing, evaluating all their options to make sure they are fully invested in a home, so they don’t have buyer’s remorse after an offer is made.”

The median home sale price, meanwhile, managed to stay relatively stable at $190,000 in April, a very slight decline of $827 compared to the previous April.