Home/Mortgages/Iowa Home Prices Post Largest Annual Gain in Six Years

May 3, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly sales of existing single-family homes and condominiums continued to improve in Iowa during March while home prices saw their largest year-over-year price increase in six years according to the latest housing data from the Iowa Association of Realtors® (IAR).

An estimated total of 2,559 existing single-family homes and condos were sold in the Hawkeye State in March. That was 37.5 percent higher than the 1,861 homes sold in February and 18.0 percent higher than the 2,168 homes sold in March 2011. Year-over-year, home sales have increased for the last nine months.

The median sales price for an existing home in Iowa increased by 13.3 percent in March to $119,000, up from $105,000 in February, and was 8.2 percent higher than the median price of $110,000 in March of last year. It was the largest year-over-year increase in home prices since January of 2006.

Dale Gross, president of the Iowa Association of Realtors®, stated, “These housing statistics show that Iowans are realizing there is a good supply of homes on the market, the economy continues to show signs of recovery, and interest rates remain incredibly low. The bottom line is, homeownership is still the great American dream. IAR encourages Iowans interested in finding a home to contact one of the 6,200 REALTORS® across the state, and start their journey to realize their homeownership dream.”

Of the 44 local boards that provide data for the monthly report, thirty-four of the boards reported gains in home sales or were unchanged from the previous year with Fort Dodge (+200.00 percent) reporting the largest increase while the Burlington board (-4.7 percent) posted the largest monthly decline in sales (minimum 30 sales).

The Des Moines area recorded the most sales for the month with an estimated 710 home sales, up from 505 the previous month, while the Quad City area followed with an estimated 315 home sales for the month, up from 250 in February.

Year-over-year, thirty-two local boards posted an increase in their median prices led by Mount Pleasant (+85.4 percent) with Northwest Iowa (-51.6 percent) posting the largest decline in prices.

The total number of homes available for sale across the state increased in March with 19,802 homes actively available, up slightly from 19,228 in February, but down 9.1 percent from last year.

The average number of days that a home spent on the market was 121, up from 115 days in February, and also up from 116 days in March 2011.

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