The Iowa Association of Realtors says home sales hit a slowdown in October, down almost 29% from the same time last year. Association president, Kurt Schade, says uncertainty about the economy is one of a combination of factors influencing sales. He says the economy is still struggling and people are hesitant to make long term decisions with uncertainty about their jobs.
Schade says people are also taking advantage of record low interest rates to refinance instead of moving to a new home. Schade says not every area of the state has seen a slowdown. Schade says they are seeing some good things out of north-central and northwest Iowa where prices are holding their own or going up.
He says they recently had a convention in Dubuque, and that city seemed to be holding its own. The statewide average price of a home sold in October was $136,682, which changed little from last year at this time. Schade says this is the time of year when realtors find sales cooling off a bit.
He says the slowdown is seasonal after school starts and fall events get underway. Schade says many people were waiting to see how the election turned out to see if it would affect the future. He says people have a lot of other priorities other than looking at homes at this time of year.
But, he says for those who want to buy a home, all the conditions are in the buyer’s favor. Schade says there continues to be a strong inventory of homes out there along with continued record-low interest rates. The association report showed a total of 2,127 homes sold in October 2010 — compared to 2,992 homes sold in October of 2009.