Home sales in Bloomington-Normal fell more than 23% last month. Association of Realtors President Chuck Montgomerie says much of that decline is due to the very cold weather.
"Most people don't look at houses when it's six degrees below zero and thirty nine inches of snow on the ground."
"I did a couple open houses last weekend. And one of them was the morning and it was sunny, and there was plenty of access to the home, but I didn't have anybody there. But, I'm hearing that from other realtors as well that open house attendance is down."
Motgomerie says there have also been challenges to keeping homes accessible because of heavy snowfall. Montgomerie says the twin cities result is similar to sales falloffs in other Midwestern cities. He says this does not mean people are not interested in buying because on-line traffic at realty sites is up.
"Viewing and viewership at various web sites is up and we attribute that to the weather. You know the phenomenon that we're having in Bloomington isn't any different than in the rest of the country."
He also says the on line traffic may mean sales will pick up when warmer weather allows people to get out more and see homes. 115 homes and condos changed hands last month in Bloomington-Normal, down from 150 in 2013. Montgomerie says January sales this year were not much different from January of 2012. The average price of a home sold last month dropped nearly $10,000 from January of 2013. Montgomerie says part of that may be weather, but there is a longer trend toward lower priced homes in the McLean County marketplace as well.
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