Housing market rebounds, sign economy is doing better - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Housing market rebounds, sign economy is doing better

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

The National Association of Realtors reported Wednesday that August home sales were up 9.3% over last August.

In Iowa it's even better.  Sales were up 15.5% over last year.

The Cedar Rapids Area Association of Realtors saw an 18% jump in sales from August 2011 to August 2012.

More than 3,600 Iowa homes were sold or closed on in August.

"Vacations are over, school is back in session," said Dawn Brown, Owner of Elite First Realty and Marian Arens & Associates.  "We had a long, hot summer. I think the cooldown has sparked a lot of people back into home buying and home selling."

Just last week the Federal Reserve announced new steps to lower mortgage interest rates hoping to boost home prices.

Sales prices in Iowa near Cedar Rapids are currently up 7-8% over last year.

"Consumer confidence has gone up a little bit," said Ben Wheeler, General Manager of Coldwell Banker Hedges Realty.  "The interest rates, too. People are thinking they might go up after the election regardless of who is in power so they are figuring they should do something sooner versus later."

But do the recently released numbers mean the local economy is bouncing back from the recession?

"Most people would say yes, that there is some bounce back," said Wheeler.  "Not quite as much as we all hoped for but it appears to be bouncing back a bit, yes."

"We didn't just get hit with the economy in our local area, we were also a disaster struck place as well," said Brown.  "So the fact that we're making this big of a stride in such a short amount of time, I'd like to think that means we're coming back."

Last year the average home sale price near Cedar Rapids was $146,000. After the second quarter of this year, it's up to $158,000.

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