While Metro Market Experienced Dips in 2023, REALTORS® Stepped Up In Big Ways to Support the Community

January 11, 2024

Less inventory, higher interest rates and more days on the market. Those aren’t exactly the statistics you want to see in the local housing market, yet it was the reality for much of 2023 across the country. The Des Moines metro area was no exception. 

However, as we usher out 2023, glimmers of a stable, robust housing market have begun to make their appearance, according to the Des Moines Area Association of REALTORS® year-end statistics released this week. 

“The housing market in 2023 followed national trends, with inventory waning then making small resurgences. As we look forward to 2024, we are seeing encouraging signs. Interest rates are expected to drop and we believe that both sellers and buyers who have been on the fence will take the leap with their trusted REALTORS® and enter the metro housing market,” said Erika Hansen, DMAAR President. 

The Des Moines metro housing market saw 13,136 homes sold in 2023, a decrease of 16% from the 15,605 homes sold in 2022. The median sales price climbed $25,000 in the last year to $295,000 for 2023. Homes averaged 72 days on the market in 2023, 20 days more on average than the prior year. 

In all, the total volume of homes sold was down more than $564 million in the last year. In 2022, volume totaled $4.7 billion, in 2023 that total fell to $4.1 billion. 

Des Moines also collected well-deserved recognition this year. Bankrate voted the metro area the #1 place to retire. The report cited a lower cost of living, affordable, quality healthcare and low crime as drivers for retirees to relocate to the area. 

Community Impact

While the REALTOR® members of DMAAR spent the year serving the clients’ needs, they also worked tirelessly in their communities. 

A group of DMAAR leadership members assisted the Blank Park Zoo over the summer to set up and install benches and tables. The Association’s YPN hosted a number of charitable events, including a holiday pub crawl benefiting the foundation established in the name of late member Greg Steward. 

The annual DMAAR Golf Outing in September raised nearly $20,500 for My Happy Place. 

Finally, the DMAAR Foundation awarded $77,000 in annual grants to the following local charities: 

  • Anawim Housing
  • Central Iowa Shelter
  • Children & Families of Iowa
  • House of Mercy
  • Hope Ministries
  • Hawthorne New Direction
  • Orchard Place
  • Homes of Oakridge
  • Beacon of Life
  • Ellipsis
  • Iowa Homeless Youth Center
  • Cross Outreach
  • Lutheran Social Services
  • Garden Gate Ranch

You can find more information on these awards on Facebook.


The Des Moines area housing market showed the typical seasonal signs through the month of December with lower inventory and sales. The metrics tracked by the Des Moines Area Association of REALTORS® was in-line with past years and 2023 market in general. 

“The final month of 2023 mimicked most of the months that came before in 2023,” Erika Hansen, DMAAR President, said. “While these statistics may not appear outwardly exceptional, we are confident that 2024 will hold a robust and vibrant housing market in the metro area. Those looking to explore the fresh market will benefit from the expertise of our REALTOR® members. 

Home Sales Slip 

The number of home sales in the Des Moines metro area dipped 5.5% in December with 862 homes sold compared to the 912 sold in November. Year-over-year, the decrease was a bit less, dropping 4.9% from the 906 homes sold in December 2022. 

Pending sales proved to be a small shining spot on the month, the 786 pending sales of December represented one more than recorded in November. The metric was a 19% boost from the 661 pending sales of December 2022. 

The number of active listings in the metro was a mixed bag when viewed monthly and yearly. December saw 2,945 active listings, a 9.4% decrease from the 3,249 active listings of November. Compared to the 2,747 active listings of December 2022, the new figures were a 7.2% increase. 

December’s median sale price increased by a mere $45, to $274,945 from one month ago. The slight increase could be a sign the market could be evening out, a welcome sign amid the year’s higher interest rates. The figure still represents a larger jump from the $250,000 median sales price of one year ago. 

Last month, homes averaged 51 days on the market, up from the 47 days homes were on the market in November, but up just one day from the 50 days on average recorded in December 2022. 

Of the properties sold in December 652, or 76% were financed conventionally. Cash purchases amounted to 24% of the sold properties and nearly 8% were financed with an FHA Loan.

Additional statistics and information about the Des Moines area housing market are available at the DMAAR Housing Stats web page

The Des Moines Area Association of REALTORS® is a professional association that represents more than 2,700 REALTOR® members. The association consists of REALTORS from the larger metro area, including but not limited to communities such as: Adel, Perry, Polk City, Newton, Knoxville, Indianola, Pella, Winterset. The mission of DMAAR is to be the voice of real estate in the Des Moines area.

The term REALTOR® is a registered trademark, which identifies real estate professionals who adhere to a strict Code of Ethics as members of the National Association of REALTORS®.