Home sales in Iowa are slowing down. The Iowa Association of Realtors reports sales in August dropped nearly 20% compared to the same month one year ago. That follows a 44% drop in home sales in July.
I-A-R president Carey Jensen believes the biggest reason for the dip in sales is the expiration of the federal tax credit for first-time home buyers and “move-up” buyers. “The other indicators, other than the number of sales, show some stabilization in the market,” Jensen said. “The decrease in the total number of sales is not a big surprise to us because in August of last year we were still under the incentive of the tax credit.”
A total of 2,289 homes were sold in August. Jensen says home sales are strong across most Iowa, but have been sluggish in pockets of the state.
“If I look at the year-to-date number of sales for the entire state, out of the 44 boards that report, only 13 of those boards are actually showing a decrease,” Jensen said. The average sale price of a home in August was $143,954. That’s down slightly from August 2009, but higher than average prices during the first half of this year.
Homes sold last month in Iowa spent an average of 97 days on the market. Jensen says the last four months have recorded the longest stretch of the lowest number of days on the market in the past two years.