Low housing inventory creates seller’s market in central Illinois

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Central Illinois houses are for sale, but likely not for long.

“Right now … there’s properties that are on the market for hours,” said Jeff Kolbus, the president of Re/Max Traders Unlimited in Peoria.

The number of available homes in the area is low.

“Our inventory is less than 50% of what it was a year ago,” said Kolbus.

Jason Catton, the president of the Peoria Area Association of Realtors (PAAR) said it’s partially due to low interest rates.

“It’s allowing buyers to be able to buy more, afford more, and question, ‘Should I still be renting when I can jump into homeownership?'” said Catton.

Kolbus said the pandemic plays a role, too.

“We just started to see people, buyers come out of the woodwork. Their lives changed because of COVID, [and] the way that they lived at home changed,” said Kolbus.

For people looking to sell homes, they are in luck.

“You have buyers making amazing offers on a property right now and there might be three or four offers on a property,” said Catton.

But for buyers, it’s stressful.

“Unfortunately, only the best offer is going to win out and sometimes it’s not just the price, it’s the terms that the buyer is asking for,” said Catton.

Real estate agents said it’s nothing like ever before.

“There’s been more stress involved in this real estate market than I’ve ever seen in my 28 years in business,” said Kolbus.

However, the boom will not last forever, he said.

“We probably have seen the peak of the extreme craziness in the Peoria market,” said Kolbus.

For people house hunting, agents recommend acting quick, being patient, and being prepared. Having loan preapproval letters in hand and ensuring everyone involved in the buying process is ready to tour a home when it’s open is key, they said.

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