Home/Mortgages/Big Drop in Iowa Home Sales

November 19, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly sales of existing single-family homes and condominiums fell by over 25 percent in Iowa during September according to the latest housing data from the Iowa Association of Realtors® (IAR), and for the first time in over year, sales failed to beat the previous year’s tally.

An estimated total of 2,671 existing single-family homes and condos were sold in the Hawkeye State in September. That was 25.8 percent lower than the 3,602 homes sold in August and 11.2 percent lower than the 3,007 homes sold in September 2011. It was the first time in 15 months that year-over-year homes sales have declined.

Sales for the month were expected to be lower because September only had 19 business days compared to a normal month that typically has 21 or 22 business days. However, on a daily basis, homes sales were still 14.1 percent lower than last month.

Despite the drop in home sales in September, through the first nine months of this year, sales are still 11.6 percent ahead of last year’s pace.

The median sales price for an existing home in Iowa fell by 1.8 percent in September to $127,000, down from $129,700 in August, but was still 5.8 percent higher than the median price of $120,000 in September of last year.

Dale Gross, president of the Iowa Association of Realtors®, stated, “Prior to this, sales had been up for many months in a row. Although September sales dipped some, overall 2012 year-to-date sales are still up by 11.6 percent. We’ll have to wait until October numbers are in to see if September was just a small bump in the road or the beginning of a slowing of the market.”

Of the 44 local boards that provide data for the monthly report, sixteen of the boards reported gains in home sales. Year-over-year, twenty-three of the local boards posted an increase in their median prices.

The total number of homes for sale across the state fell slightly again in September with 20,982 homes actively available, down slightly from 21,332 in August, and down from 24,464 homes available last year.

The average number of days that a home spent on the market was 92, down from 96 days in August and down from 100 days in September 2011.

Tags: Iowa real estate, existing homes, condos, sales, median home prices