Yes Real estate sales in the Peoria region are one indication, the COVID-19 pandemic has drawn residents’ attention to the importance of the family home.
According to statistics provided by the Peoria Area Real Estate Association (PAAR), 6,778 homes in the Peoria area were sold in 2020, up from 5,729 in 2019. Real estate sales in the area continue to increase . A total of 2,304 homes were sold in the Peoria area between April and June, compared to 1,676 sales for the same period in 2020.
“(Last year) broke records,” Rebekah Williams, director of communications at PAAR. “But home sales in 2021 have so far exceeded our 2020 numbers.”
Lisa Dunnigan, senior clerk at the Tazewell County Deeds Registry office, said the office registered 2,907 deeds last year after registering 2,634 in 2019. She believes the federal interest rate cut mortgages played a key role in the increase.
“The housing market is selling like hot cakes,” Dunnigan said. “A lot of people are outbidding each other just to get that interest rate and get the house they want.”
Although she did not provide statistics, Dunnigan added that a significant number of recent real estate transactions appear to have taken place in Beijing and Morton. According to statistics provided by PAAR, the cities with the best sellers in Tazewell County appear to be the largest communities.
Beijing, the county’s largest community with 32,846 residents, led the way with 220 real estate sales from April to June. Washington, with a population of 16,567, made 167 sales during this period. East Peoria, with a population of 22,851, made 149 sales.
Tazewell County Clerk and Recorder of Deeds John C. Ackerman said that in addition to buying new homes, area residents are taking advantage of low interest rates to refinance their mortgages.
“I know, speaking with other recorders, that every county (in Illinois) is witnessing this,” Ackerman added. “More people are buying homes because the interest rate is as low as it was created, a perfect opportunity.”
According to Williams, the pandemic played a major role in the local housing boom, as physical distancing guidelines made the family home even more important than it had during the pandemic. The home has become not only a living space, but also a workplace and a classroom in many cases.
“People needed more space in their homes to do all of this,” added Williams.
Interest rates remain low, and the Tazewell County Recorder’s Office continues to see what Ackerman has called “unprecedented traffic” from residents seeking to take advantage of these rates. However, he believes that as the United States continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, interest rates will rebound as well.
“I suspect they will be back to pre-pandemic levels,” he said. “It’s just a hunch I have.”