Home sales and prices rose in Iowa last month. Don Marple is president of the Iowa Association of Realtors, which tracks the numbers.

“We’ve seen a 6.1 percent increase in sales from April of last year to this April and we’ve seen about a 3 percent increase in the pricing of homes,” Marple says.

A total of 2,851 homes were sold in Iowa last month. That’s up from 2,688 home sales in April 2012. The median sale price across Iowa rose from $124,000 to $128,000. Marple says home prices in Iowa have been steadily rising, but it’s still a good time for first-time home buyers to enter the market.

“We’re always concerned, but the value and the amount of buyers out there are helping with the increase in the values of properties. But, interest rates have been a big help, staying around 3 to 4 percent,” Marple says. “It just makes it very affordable for anyone to be buying now instead of renting,” Marple says.

The number of homes on the market has been declining, which has contributed to the price increases. But, Marple expects more Iowans will be looking to sell their homes in the coming months. “Our inventory is down. Our supply of inventory is down to about 6 months, which is about a 20 percent drop from last year at this time,” Marple says.

“But, we did have about 300 more homes on the market (in April) than last year at this time. Spring is getting here, summer’s coming up, people are getting ready to out of school – so, they’ve got their homes ready to put on the market and they want to join in on the action and make a move.”