The Iowa Association of Realtors latest report shows total home sales in July rose eight-tenths of one percent over last July — and were up 4.5% over June. Association president Terry Knapp says the numbers are good news considering the economy.
“Anything that’s positive or steady in today’s market and the economy, the way that everything else is going, why we feel very fortunate if we can just hold our own right now,” Knapp says.
The average sales price of homes was up point-one percent over one year ago, and dropped one-point-seven percent over June of this year. Knapp says those using the eight-thousand dollar first time homebuyers credit generally buy more modest priced homes and that’s why the sales price has dropped some. Knapp says the credit is a good deal that’s not scheduled to last much longer.
Knapp says that credit has been a big motivation for people to buy houses and he says the credit will last only through November 30th. Knapp says getting financing remains one of the hurdles for home buyers. Knapp says they have found that it does take longer to get loan applications approved. He says the lower interest rates led to a lot of refinancing earlier, and appraisers were busy. Now he says the refinancing has slowed and the appraisers are freed up.
The report says houses have continued to spend more days on the market this year than last year, averaging 103 days in July 2009, and just 94 days in July 2008. However, days on the market in July 2009 did decrease by three days from June of this year.