Home sales in Iowa last month dropped 27.2% compared to September 2009. Kurt Schade is the president of the Iowa Association of Realtors, which released a new housing trends report today.
“We have continued all summer to see a downward trend in home sales,” Schade said. “We believe that it’s a reaction to the Homebuyer Tax Credit which expired earlier in the year and motivated the home buyer to make that buying decision earlier.”
There were 2,229 homes sold in Iowa last month, down from 3,044 homes in September 2009. Schade says there’s a large inventory in the state right now and potential buyers could qualify for record low interest rates, which are hovering around 4%.
He says many Iowans are taking advantage of the low rates by choosing to refinance their current home, rather than buy a new home. “We think maybe a slight uptick in interest rates might bring to a halt the flurry of refinance and actually put some more home buyers back out into the market place,” Schade said.
The average sale price of homes in Iowa last month was slightly less than $148,000. That’s up 8.7% from last year at this time and 3.1% from last month. “We think that’s indicative of some stability in market conditions,” Schade said. Although home sales have declined in recent months, Schade says year-to-date sales in 2010 are on target to match 2009 sales.