The news relating to Peoria is condensed here for your convenience:
In the first quarter, the largest single-family home price increase was the Binghamton, N.Y., area, where the median price of $109,700 rose 11.8 percent from a year ago. Next was Peoria, Ill., at $119,000, up 10.4 percent from the first quarter of 2007, followed by the Spartanburg, S.C., area, where the first-quarter median price increased 10.1 percent to $130,300.
I believe we are seeing these increases in median value because of the large number of new construction units being sold. The definition of median is - One type of average, found by arranging the values in order and then selecting the one in the middle. This DOES NOT mean that the average home has appreciated 10.4%.
It is still a finicky market, with compromised consumer confidence. In layman's terms that means you must competitively price your home according to comparable sales of homes that have sold in the last 6 months or less, have your home properly staged, perform any and all miscellaneous repairs, and be willing to entertain offers.
On the other hand, these stats should serve buyers notice that our market is still thriving. Extreme, lowball offers are just not cutting it. If you find the right home, ask your buyers agent to show you comparable home sales from the past 6 months and make a reasonable offer based on facts and not "the fear factor".
Homes are definately selling, and we are all extremely busy, but it can cost you a longer market time and lost opportunities if your expectations of the market are out of line with reality.