July 12, 2012 (Shirley Allen)

Monthly sales of existing single-family homes and condominiums increased by almost 30 percent Iowa during May leaving home sales through the end of the month 14 percent higher than at the same time last year according to the latest housing data from the Iowa Association of Realtors® (IAR).

An estimated total of 3,418 existing single-family homes and condos were sold in the Hawkeye State in May. That was 29.2 percent higher than the 2,645 homes sold in April and 13.9 percent higher than the 3,001 homes sold in May 2011. Year-over-year, home sales have increased for the last 11 months.

The median sales price for an existing home in Iowa increased by 4.1 percent in May to $130,000, up from $124,900 in April, and was 7.2 percent higher than the median price of $121,500 in May of last year.

Dale Gross, president of the Iowa Association of Realtors┬«, stated, “May joined the series of numerous months of strong sales and prices. It appears that people are taking advantage of the low interest rates and good prices and making a move, which ultimately means great news for the housing market here in Iowa. On the whole, 2012 is off to a very solid start. More than 12,300 homes have been sold in Iowa through the end of May, up more than 1,500 homes from last year at this time.”

Of the 44 local boards that provide data for the monthly report, thirty-three of the boards reported gains in home sales or were unchanged from the previous year with the Greater Sioux City board (+53.00 percent) reporting the largest increase while the Marion County Board (-11.6 percent) posted the largest monthly decline in sales in areas with a minimum of 30 sales.

The Des Moines area recorded the most sales for the month with an estimated 864 home sales, up from 769 the previous month, while the Cedar Rapids area followed with an estimated 388 home sales for the month, up from 272 in April.

Year-over-year, twenty-eight local boards posted an increase in their median prices, or were unchanged from the previous year, led by the Heart of Iowa MLS (+100.0 percent) with the Fairfield MLS (-34.0 percent) posting the largest decline in prices.

The total number of homes for sale across the state increased slightly in May with 21,259 homes actively available, up from 21,061 in April, but down from 24,394 homes available last year.

The average number of days that a home spent on the market was 102, down from 112 days in April and down slightly from 105 days in May 2011.

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