PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria area has seen a significant drop in home sales compared to this time last year, and it’s mainly because there are fewer homes available.

The Peoria Area Association of REALTORS (PAAR) reported that their second-quarter reports show a decline in home sales of 15.2% from the same time period in 2021.

“Home sales are down year over year due mostly to still historically low inventory,” said PAAR President Ryan Cannon. “Close sales were down 15.2%; however, inventory was down 23.5%. Fewer homes to sell means there will be a decline in sales.”

In the second quarter of 2021, PAAR reported that 2,338 homes were sold. In the same time period this year, only 1,983 homes were sold.

In addition to lower sales, PAAR also reported that the average price of Peoria homes is on the rise. In 2021’s second quarter, the average price of a home in the Peoria area was $154,388. This year, it’s up to $168,433.

However, PAAR doesn’t see this price increase as a detriment to community growth.

“The Peoria area still shines bright for affordability,” Cannon said. “We are continuing to see a significant amount of people from outside our state moving to the Peoria area.”

Not only are houses comparatively more expensive, but they are spending less time on the market. In 2021, the average Peoria home was on the market for 56 days. Homes are spending roughly 29 days on the market one year later.

With interest rates jumping in an effort to combat inflation, the PAAR president said that now is the time to buy.

“With the current market for buyers, I’d say if you’re ready to buy and have found the house you want–don’t wait,” said Cannon. “If rates go down, you can refinance later, and if they go up, you’ll be happy you locked in when you did.”

For more information on purchasing a home in the Peoria area, visit PAAR’s website.