July was a strange month for home sales in the Iowa City area. Home sales were up in Coralville, down in North Liberty and came out a wash in Iowa City. 149 homes sold in Iowa City in both July 2012 and July 2011. The good news is that single family home sales and zero lot sales are up. The not so good news is that condo sales are down. (Although that is not as surprising as you might think considering the strong condo sales in May and June).
The absorption rate is down this month at 5.3 months, that’s an average of 160 days on market. 6 months is considered a balanced market and below 6 months is working towards a sellers market. With the peak selling time of the year on the way out, it’s unlikely we’ll see any major movement in the next few months. Nonetheless, 5.3 months is a good place to be and shows a positive trend for the Iowa City real estate market.
When you look at the table below you’ll see that condo and single family home prices in Iowa City are up, while zero lot prices are down. Home prices in Iowa City aren’t prone to big highs and lows. For the last few years prices have been pretty flat and right now they’re bobbing around a bit from month to month. As the Iowa City real estate market becomes more stable it’s likely we’ll see a more consistent increase in home prices than we are now.
Single Family 240,226 231,691 219,750 213,000
Condos 154,125 131,940 136,500 124,000
Zero Lots 147,422 163,833 140,000 166,500
So what exactly does all this data mean to you as a home buyer or home seller in Iowa City?
If you’ve got a home to sell in Iowa City, the inventory of homes on the market is going down and that works in your favor. Of course you’ll need to be realistic about where you price your house as there’s still plenty of competition. And then there’s the fact that buyers are still a bit behind the curve and think it’s a buyers market and expect a lot for their money. Selling a home is a cross between a price war and a beauty contest. If you want some help figuring out how to win both, give me a call I’m known for my candid assessment of a situation and will know what needs to be done to get your home sold.
If you’re thinking of buying a home in Iowa City the lower inventory may mean you don’t have as many choices as you had a year or two ago. If you see a home you like you should snap it up. The nicest homes that are fairly priced are going fast. If you want some help getting the best house at the best price give me a call. This also applies to new construction. It may not be intuitively obvious, but working with a buyer’s agent is always a good idea. This applies to new construction as much as to any home purchase you have in mind – To make smart decisions you’ll need all the facts and I can help with that.
Want to talk through your options and figure out whether now is a good time for you to buy a home or list your home in Iowa City? Give me a call at 319-400-0268 or drop me an email. My approach is very straightforward. I’ll help you figure out a strategy on how to get from A to B with the minimum amount of fuss.
Data for the market report for July collected from the Iowa City MLS August 13, 2012