April was a strange month for home sales in Iowa City. Clearly the market is picking up, we’re seeing signs of that all over the Iowa City area real estate market. And yet, home sales in Iowa City were down in April. 44 homes sold in April 2012 compared to 70 in April 2011. At the same time, home prices are up compared to last year. It’s my job to present the facts, not make stuff up and you have to admit that the data I get to present this month is a bit on the odd side!
Looking at the bigger picture, the trend in Iowa City housing market is moving in the right direction. Even though home sales in Iowa City were down for the month, looking at the number of homes sold January through April, we’re still ahead for the year. 147 homes sold from January through April 2012 compared to 145 January through April 2011. There are also a large number of homes marked as Sale Pending or Contingent on the Iowa City MLS, (241 as I’m writing this), so even though April wasn’t a great month for closings, we have plenty of closings to look forward to through the next few months.
The absorption rate has gone down a bit this month to 6.6 months. that’s an average of 199 days on market. The calculation for the absorption rate factors in the number of homes currently listed as active on the Iowa City MLS. As the number of homes pending sale goes up, the inventory of homes on the market goes down and that’s good for the absorption rate. It should improve more through the summer months as more homes sell and the inventory of active listings / number of homes on the market goes down.
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 house to sell in Iowa City, things are looking a whole lot better for you than a few months ago. Spring and early summer is the time when the most buyers are out and about and they are out in their numbers this year. With so many homes on the market sellers in Iowa City do have a lot of competition. The trick is to make sure your house is priced right and in great showing shape. You want your house to be the one buyers notice so put your best foot forward and see to it that your house is the shiny penny on the block before you list it for sale!
If you’re thinking of buying a home in Iowa City, we still have something of a buyer’s market. There is still too much inventory on the market for that to change yet. That said, well priced homes that show well are selling fast, especially if they’re in what’s considered a prime location – Close to downtown, walking distance to Campus, close to the UIHC – These are areas relocating buyers want to be and at this time of the year, just in time for the fall semester, we have A LOT of relocating buyers! The market has bottomed out and it’s on the way up again now. Home prices aren’t dropping anymore and starting to go up, interest rates are still phenomenally low. Buyers still have lots of choices. The question is just how much longer these excellent conditions for buyers can last…
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. Sound advice and guidance is just a phone call or email away!
Data for this market report collected from the Iowa City MLS May 17, 2012