Iowans wouldn’t carry an umbrella with them just because it’s raining in California, right? For the same reason, Iowans shouldn’t be worried about the value of their homes based on what’s happening thousands of miles away, according to Dave Vollmar of the Home Builders Association of Greater Des Moines.
Vollmar, the organization’s executive vice president, says: “The best way to look at it is — when you go out in the day, you don’t look at the national weather to see what’s happening. It’s the same case with housing. You shouldn’t look at what’s happening nationally. You need to look locally. We aren’t the East and we aren’t the West Coast. We aren’t ending up with all the issues. There is a downturn but it’s not near to the degree that you’re seeing on the East or West Coast.”
Despite an industry lag in other parts of the country, Vollmar says Iowa’s situation has remained solid and homes here are continuing to appreciate in value. Vollmar says, “Your return on your house is still good in Iowa. You’re still seeing a three-percent return annually, over the last ten years we’ve shown that. Where you’re seeing some dropoffs like seven-percent out of the West Coast, maybe 15-percent out on the East Coast, your investment in a home is still paying back at three-percent a year — is what we’ve seen over the last ten years in Iowa.”
According to the Iowa Association of Realtors website, median home values across Iowa are holding their own, even improving slightly, from 128-thousand-200 dollars in 2006 to 128-thousand-750 last year.
Vollmar says there’s way too much negative news out there about the economy and home buying. He says, “That’s what’s keeping the consumer from moving. Things are a lot better here than they realize. If you look at the interest rates, it’s not like when my mom and dad, I remember them refinancing for 21-percent for the farm loan in the early 70s. We’re at almost an all-time low. Incentives are out there.”
He says the Spring Parade of Homes that runs both last weekend and this weekend is the association’s largest series of showings ever, featuring 113 homes in the Des Moines metro area.