Number of home sales, home prices, change little between 2010 and 2011

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January 19th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Both home sales and home prices held fairly steady in Iowa last year compared to 2010. That’s according to the latest report from the Iowa Association of Realtors. Association president Dale Gross, of Atlantic, says 2,430 homes were sold last month – 154 more than in December 2010. Gross said it marked the fifth consecutive month of increased home sales. In all 12 months of 2011, 31,089 homes were sold – just 135 more than 2010. The median sale price of an Iowa home in 2011 was $122,000, a one-point-two-percent (1.2%) decline from 2010. “There’s been an increase in the lower end of the housing sales numbers and that’s probably being driven by a lot of the foreclosed or distressed properties. They’re selling for much, much less,” Gross explained. Average prices in Iowa should increase as more of those distressed properties are taken off the market. Gross said he’s already seeing signs that prices will rise based on inventory. “This last month, we had 7.4 months (worth) of homes available to sell – based on the average monthly sales. That happens to be down from nine (months) a year ago,” Gross said. “So, that inventory is slacking off, which means there is a likelihood of higher prices in the future because inventory is dropping.”

(Pat Curtis/Radio Iowa)