April Home Sales Up as Tax Credit Expires

By Dave DeWitte

CEDAR RAPIDS - Home sales shot up as many home buyers beat an April 30 deadline to get a federal tax credit for their home purchase.

Record sales were recorded by realtors in the Cedar Rapids Area Association of Realtors multiple listing service. They sold 403 single-family properties, up from 304 in April 2009, an increase of 32.6 percent.

"Certainly the tax credits helped boost our numbers, making April 2010 our best April on record for "solds," said Kevin Plaatz, association executive.

The Iowa City Area Association of Realtors reported 547 single family home sales, up from 421 in April 2009, an increase of 30 percent.

"Buyers seeking to qualify for federal tax credits were required to have the property under contract by the end of April, but have until the end of June to close on their property. Some individuals serving on active duty in the military may qualify for a one-year extension, according to Jeff Dill, president of the Iowa City Area Association of Realtors.

"It expired at the end of April, and we'll find out the real impact at the end of June," Dill said.

Dill said a drop in the average selling price to $178,462 in April 2010 from April 2009 was due to the increased number of first-time home buyers who took advantage of the tax credits, not due to an overall decline in property values. First-time home buyers tend to purchase more economical homes, he indicated.

The average price of homes sold in the Cedar Rapids multiple listing service increased to $177,940. The amount of times homes were on the market before selling decreased to 101 days in the Cedar Rapids MLS and to 106 days in the Iowa City MLS.

Home sales statewide increased 32.4 percent from April 2009, and 36.3 percent from March 2010, according to the Iowa Association of Realtors.

The average sale price of homes statewide climbed to $139,305 from $132,386 in April 2009.
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