Iowa housing market doing well, home sales up in Iowa - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa housing market doing well, home sales up in Iowa

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ASBURY (KWWL) -

The Iowa Association of Realtors reports home sales and prices were up in May.

Sales increased 13.9 percent this May compared with May of 2011.

Beth Staidl lives in a house in Dubuque, but she and her husband have just begun the process to look for a new home.

"My mom was nice enough to come with me since my husband couldn't come today," she said Sunday afternoon, standing outside an open house for a new home on the market in Asbury.

"We're going to have to be selling our own home, too, so it's a good time to buy," Staidl said. "We have to sell a home, too, so we consider that when we're looking."

There are encouraging statistics for people like her.

Statewide, sellers face 12.9 percent fewer houses on the market as of May of this year, compared to one year prior. Demand, therefore, is up.

As for buyers, "we see a lot of people taking advantage of incredibly low interest rates," Jane O'Neill, president of the Dubuque Board of Realtors, said.

The Iowa Association of Realtors reports the average amount of time a house spent on the market in May was 102 days, a 2.9 decrease from May 2011.

"I think that one of the things that people who are looking to sell need to do is to be very aware of what the competition is," O'Neill said. "If they're priced correctly, their home will sell."

In Iowa, the median house sale price in May was $130,000, which is up more than 7 percent from May of last year.

"I think there's some pent-up demand," O'Neill said. "I think there are buyers who've been waiting. There are some people who've been thinking, you know, they're waiting for the market to bottom out, and now we're starting to see some price increases."

Realtor Kimberly Schmit said that's a change from the recent past.

"People would wait until a listing expired, expecting the price to keep going down because nobody was buying and then they'd make offers and that isn't the case anymore," she said.

All this is good news, of course, for people like Staidl.

"I'm not too worried about it," she said. "I think if we find something, we can make an offer and then sell our house fairly quickly. I'm hoping!"

The Iowa Association of Realtors reports more than 12,300 homes have been sold in Iowa through the end of May. That's up more than 1,500 homes from that point last year.

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