The Iowa Association of Realtors (IAR) is reporting the number of home sales across the state fell in January compared to one year ago, but the average sale price rose by 4.5-percent.
IAR president Jon Yocum of Dubuque expects home sale activity to rise in the months ahead as Iowans looking to move into a home learn about a new federal program requiring a down payment of only 3-percent for qualified buyers.
“We still need more inventory, so hopefully the word out there with the low interest rates and the new government program will encourage more buyers to buy and more sellers to sell,” Yocum said. A total of 1,868 homes were sold in Iowa last month, just 30 fewer than in January 2014. The median sale price rose from $119,500 in January of 2014 to $124,900 last month. Another positive for sellers, according to Yocum, is homes are selling faster when compared to last year.
The average days on market dropped from 95 in January 2014 to 89 days last month. “The buyers are out there buying. It’s a good buyer’s market with the low interest rates and the new program and it’s a good seller’s market because the sellers are getting action on their home,” Yocum said. While home sales in the winter typically slow down, Yocum said there was a 12 percent increase in active listings from January 2014. In addition, pending sales in Iowa are up nearly 13-percent from January of last year.