CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The housing market is in a current slump and the key to getting out is more inventory, one realtors’ organization said.

Champaign County Association of REALTORS said that buyers are currently fighting each other for limited existing inventory, inventory that is shrinking. Inventory dropped about 700 on March 17, 2022, to exactly 561 on March 16 of this year, a change of -20%. As a result, there was a proportionate decrease in the number of home sales, from 163 in February of 2022 to 130 in February of this year.

It also took 66 days to sell a home in February of this year, up from 48 days a year prior.

“As home shoppers started their search early this spring, we are seeing an uptick in competition for housing, causing a severe inventory shortage,” said PJ Trautman, president of the Champaign County Association of REALTORS. “The Champaign County area housing market has less inventory today than we did a year ago and this creates extremely favorable conditions for any homeowner considering selling as they face less housing competition.”

Trautman said that with limited inventory, properties are receiving multiple offers that drive the price upwards and resulting in a sales price that is higher than the list price.

“We expect the spring market to continue to be busier than the winter months, and as such, sellers need to be thinking of prepping their homes now to hit the market sooner rather than later,” Trautman added. “Strong home prices in recent years means homeowners have gained more equity in their homes that can be used for their next move whether that is purchasing an existing home or building their dream home.”

CU Under Construction’s Jeff Burgoni said his company has been working to come up with a solution for that in an Urbana subdivision called Savannah Green.

Their goal is to keep costs low to get more people settled.

“We’re kind of creating a little niche price point to afford people to get into some starter homes too and make them affordable,” said Burgoni.