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2015 home sales could top 2006 peak in sales


The Greater Des Moines housing market could generate 12,000 home sales this year, topping the 11,185 that were sold at the peak of the housing market in 2006, prior to the Great Recession.

That is the prediction of Les Sulgrove, a real estate agent with 25 years in the business and a man who can be counted on to provide historical data on short notice.

Sulgrove, who operates the website www.simplydesmoines.com, a compendium of Greater Des Moines-centric housing data, made the prediction that 12,000 houses would be sold this year in a recent newsletter.

As of Sept. 30, sales had been completed on 9,704 houses, topping total sales for each year from 2008 through 2012.

Sellers are happy too, with average sales price reaching $191,000 for the year. The median sales price last month was $181,500, a 21 percent increase since the beginning of the year.

It is a fast-paced market, with potential buyers frequently missing the home of their dreams.

“You have to be able to make a decision on the spot,” Sulgrove said.

Lack of inventory is driving the rise in prices and the pace of sales.

“I’ve done this for 25 years, and I can’t remember this kind of prolonged fast-paced market,” Sulgrove said. He is an agent with VIA Group Realtors in West Des Moines.

At the end of the quarter, there were 3,879 homes for sale, a supply that could last nearly four months, and 2,141 under contract to be purchased. Homes that were sold had been on the market an average of 75 days.

In the new construction market, 1,020 houses were for sale and 499 had been sold.

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