Sales up 15.9% in March

April 9, 2020

Des Moines, Iowa – April 9, 2020 – The Des Moines Area Association of REALTORS® (DMAAR) reports March sales rose 15.9 percent from last year with 1,051 sold properties compared to 907 solds in March 2019.

The average number of days on market decreased by 11.7 percent, with 68 days for March 2020 compared to 77 days in March 2019.

March’s median sale price came in 2.4 percent higher at $215,000 while the median sale price in March 2019 was $209,900. 

The number of properties available rose 5.6% from last March with 3,487 homes on the market.

“Despite the pandemic reaching Iowa in mid-March, we saw another very strong month in terms of sales and a rise in properties on the market for the third consecutive month. There are still people that need to move or are finishing the purchase or sale of their home from February. Understandably, there was a slowdown in activity in the second half of March. The number of open houses lessened and traditional showings began to decline as well.  Buyer behavior has been altered dramatically. Many buyers are taking advantage of virtual tours and videos online to narrow down their list of properties to just a couple of favorites,” stated Lance Hanson, DMAAR President.

Realtors have quickly adapted to these uncertain times and changed their business practices to follow the safety and health guidelines set forth by the Governor. Realtors are still advising buyers and sellers on their options. Realtors are utilizing virtual tours and virtual open houses. These virtual open houses are similar to walk-through video presentations with text or narration for interested buyers, as many sellers are choosing to stop holding traditional open houses and are limiting showings of their home.

“With interest rates so low, some folks that were already planning to buy are continuing to search for their next home and lock in on those low interest rates,” stated Lance Hanson. “The real estate industry is such an important part of the Iowa economy we are doing our part within the new rules and guidelines to keep Iowa moving forward, ” continued Hanson. 

A slowdown in the market is expected, but the true picture of how COVID-19 impacts the real estate market will be more clear once we get through April and see how things progress with the spread of the virus in Iowa.

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Home prices will remain stable because of a pandemic-induced reduction in inventory coupled with less immediate concerns over foreclosures.” 

737 properties or 70 percent of sold properties were financed conventionally. Cash purchases amounted to almost 11 percent of the sold properties. Over 11 percent of sold homes were financed with an FHA Loan.