The Iowa Association of Realtors says statewide sales of homes dropped nearly 16% in March compared to last year. Association president Kurt Schade says they anticipated the numbers for March would be down for this year compared to last year because there’s no longer a tax incentive for homebuyers.

He says there continues to be a great supply of homes and “attractive” interest rates. The average sale price of homes dropped just 1.7% in March when compared to last year. Schade says the months of April, May and June offer the hope that the market will pick up.

Schade says there’s a normal seasonal boost in the spring as the snow melts and things green up. Schade says kids will get out of school, and people start to make decisions on moving and buying a new house. Schade says the economic news seems to be getting better and that can also lead to more sales.

Schade says they are optimistic that they are hearing some good news of job creation, job growth and stability in the economy, and they believe in the past the housing market has led the economy out of the recession, and it will do so again. Schade says a good spring could have a big impact on the people who sell the homes.

He says it’s a mix bag of news right now in the industry, as there are a lot of realtors who’re seeing an increase in activity, while there are lots of others who’re trying to decided with they will stay in the profession. The association says 11 of its 44 local boards saw an increase in the number of sales in March.

The average sale price of homes across Iowa was $127,753 dollars in March of this year compared to $129,982 in March 2010.