A report from the Iowa Association of Realtors shows the number of homes listed for sale dropped by more than 11% in January compared to one year ago. But association president, Krista Clark, says listings were up compared to December.

“I think the most telling thing that I saw in the market was that pending sales are picking back up. So December was a pretty slow month as far as pending sales, and went in January, kind of turn that around a little bit, people are back out looking and ready to make that move,” she says.

Rising interest rates help slow things down in the housing market — but they appear to have leveled out. “You know, the more time you put between the lowest rates of 2021 and today, it’s kind of less of a factor people kind of know what to expect,” Clark says. “But that initial shock really kind of threw people off coming into the late fall and early winter.”

Clark says you have to understand that rates had been at historic lows. “People tend to be so anxious about the fact that rates are in, you know, the low sixes, things like that, but historically, that’s still a very low interest rate,” she says. So we were just all so spoiled with the three percent, the low four percent. It just seemed crazy, but really it’s a healthy market when things are at six percent.”

Clark says the slowdown in the market was a good thing. “I think that the market got so frenzied — like multiple offer situations where people just didn’t even have a chance to take a deep breath and make an informed decision on what they wanted to do,” Clark says. “People were waiving contingencies or they were waiving inspections, you know, appraisal contingencies, things like that.”

Clark says she is optimistic about spring after weathering the slowdown. “Realtors have been so busy for so long that like when things slow down, I feel like a few of us were like, okay, like, let me catch my breath. So it was great for like a few weeks, and then when those two weeks kind of turned into the 30 days or so you’re like uh oh,” she says. “So if you’d asked me that 30 days ago, I would have still been optimistic — but over the past two or three weeks, really in February, showings and offers have skyrocketed compared to, you know, January and December.”

The days on the market increased to 48 days in January, compared to 38 days last month and 40 days in January last year. Median sales prices increased four-point-seven percent compared to last January and were 190-thousand-500 dollars. Clark is a realtor in Newton.

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