Home Sales, Prices, Inventory Rise in August

By George Ford, Reporter

FILE PHOTO - A for sale by owner sign sits on the corner of an intersection in Des Moines, Iowa.(AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)


By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Iowa's housing market continued its recovery in August with more homes sold, a higher median sale price and a lower inventory of homes on the market when compared with the same month in 2011.

Home sales rose 15.5 percent statewide from 3,119 in August 2011 to 3,602 last month, according to the Iowa Association of Realtors in Des Moines. Thirty-two of Iowa’s 44 local Realtor boards reported increases in home sales last month.

Pending home sales were up by 2.4 percent from 3,146 in August 2011 to 3,221 last month.

The median sale price rose from $125,000 in August 2011 to $129,700 in August 2012, an increase of 3.8 percent. Twenty-five local Realtor boards reported increases in the median sale price.

The statewide inventory of homes for sale was 21,416, down 14.5 percent from August 2011 when the inventory was 25,055 homes. New active listings increased by 4.5 percent from 5,048 in August 2011 to 5,275 new active listings last month.

The length of time that a house was on the market dropped to less than 100 days. The average number of days on the market in August was 98 days, down 4 days or 3.9 percent from last August.

"We are pleased to see continued strong sales activity in the Iowa market," said Dale Gross, president of the Iowa Association of Realtors. "The first half of 2012 was the strongest first half of sales in the last five years, according to the National Association of Realtors. Our data shows the same here in Iowa, with 2012 year-to-date sales the highest since 2007."

Corridor home sales and median sale prices also showed continued strong activity.
A total of 401 homes were sold last month in the Cedar Rapids area, up 6.1 percent from 378 in August 2011, according to the Cedar Rapids Area Association of Realtors. The median sale price increased 3.5 percent from $139,147 in August 2011 to $144,000 last month.
At the southern end of the Corridor, 269 homes were sold last month, according to the Iowa City Area Association of Realtors, up 31.2 percent from 205 homes sold in August 2011. The median sale price increased 14.4 percent from $152,500 in August 2011 to $174,500 last month.

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