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Des Moines-area home sales remain strong despite low inventory


Home sales in the Greater Des Moines area continued to be strong in February, with the sale of 851 residential properties, 10% more than a year ago, new data from the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors shows.

The median sales price of a house sold in February was $226,000, 16% higher than in February 2020, association data shows. Houses sold in an average of 46 days.

The supply of houses for sale shrunk to 1,787, the lowest it’s been in at least three years, according to the association.

“We need inventory,” said Kim Bakey, CEO of HomeServices of Iowa, of which Iowa Realty Co. is a subsidiary. “We have 45% fewer houses on the market than we did a year ago and we were saying then that we had half of the inventory we needed.

“Agents are having to be creative. They are having to think about ‘How do I get the right property for my buyer because it’s not listed right now.’”

It’s not unusual for home sellers to receive more than one offer for their property, Ted Weaver, the association’s president, said in a news release.

Typically, 3,000 or more houses are listed for sale in January and February in the Greater Des Moines market, which includes Polk, Dallas, Warren, Jasper, Marion, Madison and Guthrie counties.

Helping to fuel the demand for houses are low interest rates for home mortgages. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.05% today, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey. A year ago, the 30-year rate averaged 3.36%

“Even as rates rise modestly, the housing market remains healthy on the cusp of spring homebuying season. Homebuyer demand is strong and, for homeowners who have not refinanced but are looking to do so, they have not yet lost the opportunity,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a prepared statement.

Related articles:
Soaring lumber prices haven’t slowed new home construction in Des Moines area
2020 was a record year for home sales in the Des Moines area

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