A new report from the Iowa Association of Realtors shows the real estate market in Iowa wrapped up 2019 with sales up and prices up, compared to the year before.
Association president Scott Wendl, a realtor in Clive, says more than 42,200 homes were sold statewide last year. That’s up about 500 homes from the previous year. “Home sales were up a little bit, actually 1.2%,” Wendl says, “and the nice byproduct of that also is the actual sales price went up almost 5%.” The median home sales price last year was $168,500 dollars, or about $8,000 lower than in 2018.
“One nice thing about the state of Iowa is, we are still one of the most affordable areas in the United States to purchase a home,” Wendl says. “A lot of that is just the cost of living is lower, which reflects a better median sales price compared to some of the other markets around the country.”
The median sale price for single-family homes was higher each month in 2019 when compared to the same month in 2018.
“With the interest rates still low, it is still driving prices up a little bit,” Wendl says. “Inventory is a little bit tight, especially in the first-time buyer price range. If you’re looking in the upper price range, inventory is a lot better. There’s more to choose from.”
A few weeks into the New Year, we’re getting a look at 2020 trends when it comes to the economy and specifically the housing market.
A look at this year’s forecast on housing trends: real estate agents predict a strong housing market in 2000, driven by a strong economy. Realtor Carlos Garcia says the biggest draws for potential homeowners actually doesn’t have anything to do with what’s inside the house. They are looking for two key things. One is accessibility. They want transportation, retail, jobs, etc. nearby. Affordability is the other key factor.
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) predicts 2020 will be another strong year. Experts estimate prices will continue to grow, as long as the job market is good. While demand remains high, inventory is low. Reachers say zoning restrictions are to blame, constricting the ability of the home building businesses to deliver what the market demands. Some states are taking steps to remove barriers and increase the stock of available housing. In the meantime, analysts predict low-interest rates will help make homes more affordable this year. According to Freddie Mac, the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is down nearly one point from this time last year.
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