Regional housing market showing stability but slow growth - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Regional housing market showing stability but slow growth

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) - Regional property sales in the first six months of 2014 are down 4 percent compared to property sales in the first six months of 2013.

That's according to Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors, a local family-owned real estate company since 1862. With 290 sales associates, 62 employees and 12 offices throughout eastern Iowa, northwest Illinois and southwest Wisconsin, Ruhl&Ruhl gets a regional glimpse at the housing market.

The past 18 months have been a roller coaster, Ruhl&Ruhl president Caroline Ruhl said Tuesday in a release. Residential sales picked up, then fell off and are now slowly but steadily improving.

Across its region, Ruhl&Ruhl sold 6,949 properties in the first six months of 2014. That's down 4 percent from the same time period in 2013. Sales volume for the total region is also down 4 percent, to $1,065,971,100 in the first six months of 2014, according to the release.

Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors predicted a flat year in 2014 compared to 2013. Caroline Ruhl said the company is hopeful continued market and economic improvement will result in that end.

Contributing to her optimism is inventory, which is up in most of the region. New construction inventory is up 15 percent in the region, while sales of new homes are down 3 percent compared to last year, according to the release. Prices are also rising slowly in most of Ruhl&Ruhl's markets.

Numbers vary from market to market, of course.

In the Dubuque area, for a local example, there are 514 residential properties listed for sale. That's a 16 percent decrease from the same time last year, when there were 615 properties for sale. 

Eight percent fewer Dubuque-area properties sold in the first half of 2014 as compared to 2013. However, the average sales price of homes sold in the first half of 2014 was $167,000, a 5 percent increase over the average sales price of homes in the first six months of 2013. 

Following the regional trend, sales volume for the first half of 2014 in Dubuque was down 4 percent from the same time period last year, at $73,994,000 compared to $76,778,700.

Compare that to the Iowa City area, where the numbers look slightly different. The number of properties for sale in Iowa City is up 1 percent from 2013, with 1,334 properties currently on the market compared to 1,322 this time last year. 

The number of properties sold within the first half of 2014 is 7 percent fewer than the number of properties sold in the first half of last year. The average sale price of a property in the first half of 2014 was $209,800, which was up 1 percent from the average sale price in the first half of 2013. 

Iowa City has a decreased sales volume, dropping 6 percent from $278,095,000 in the first half of 2013 to $262,306,200 in the first half of 2014.

More data are available by clicking on the graphic on the left from Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors.

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