Home sales in Iowa increased 53% from February to March according to the Iowa Association of Realtors. I.A.R. President Carey Jensen credits the increase almost entirely to the improved weather conditions in March.
“We had such a hard winter that we saw some large drops in January and February, so now we’re just rebounding back to what we consider a normal market,” Jensen said. Overall home sales for 2010 through the end of March are 10% ahead of last year’s pace. Jensen says more people put their houses on the market when the weather improves.
“We’re in the strongest time of year for the real estate market with weather conditions favorable and people getting their homes ready for spring time yard work anyway,” Jensen said. “Typically we see an increase in inventory and by summer, an increase in sales as well.”
A total of 2,225 homes were sold across Iowa last month. Jensen says a tax credit for first-time homebuyers that expires at the end of April had little impact on home sales. She says it might have lured some new people into the market, but most who bought homes during March either didn’t qualify for the credit or didn’t know about it.
Jensen says the inventory of available houses is quite high now, with more than 7,000 on the market. She expects home sales to remain strong at least through summer.