Average Home Sale Price Rises in Corridor, State

By George Ford, Reporter

In this Sept. 21, 2010 photo, a sign stands in front of a new homes for sale in a West Des Moines, Iowa, neighborhood. Sales of new homes improved last month after the worst summer in nearly five decades, but not enough to lift the struggling economy. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

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By Ellen Kurt

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - The Iowa housing market continued to exhibit signs of a comeback in January, according to data from the Iowa Association of Realtors and local Realtor boards in the Corridor

The Cedar Rapids Association of Realtors reported 193 homes sold last month, up 5.5 percent from 183 sales in January 2012. The average sale price of Cedar Rapids home was $169,737 last month, up 20.4 percent from $140,970 in January 2012.

In Iowa City, a total of 85 homes were sold in January, according to the Iowa City Area Association of Realtors, down 22.7 percent from 110 home sales in the same month last year. The average sale price of an Iowa City home was $179,206 in January, up 8.2 percent from $165,606 in January 2012.

Statewide, 1,898 homes were sold in January, up 14.7 percent from 1,655 homes sold in January 2012. Twenty-eight of the 44 local Realtor boards reported increases in sales.

Iowa home sales have increased in 18 of the last 19 months, according to the state association.

The average sale price also was up last month, with a 6.3 percent increase from last year at this time. Average sale price was $136,183 in January, compared with $128,131 in January 2012.

Don Marple, president of the state association, said the year started out with another solid month of sales and prices.

"We continue to see a great deal of activity in the market, and expect that to increase as we move into the spring and summer months, which are historically busier times of the year in the real estate industry," Marple said. "Increased sales paired with steady listings in 2012 resulted in a decreased inventory, a situation that we haven’t seen in awhile.

"As of January, the statewide inventory of homes on the market was 17,234, down 19 percent from January 2012. This level represents 5.9 months supply of inventory, which indicates a pro-sellers market."

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