For sale

A for-sale sign is shown outside of a Clinton home on Monday.

Scott Levine/Clinton Herald
Clinton Herald

According to a report released by the Iowa Association of Realtors, home sales in Iowa appear to be on the up and up. Sales figures from July show growth in the number of houses being sold, and an increase in the average price.

Statistics indicate that home sales for July 2011 increased by 38.7 percent from July 2010. The IAR estimates that 870 more homes were sold in that time frame this year.

Additionally, the average price for each home has increased. Sale prices in July 2011 had a $152,349 average, while averages from a year ago were $149,837. This is a 5.9 percent growth, and an increase in more than $8,000 per household.

“The increase in sales and prices is good news for the Iowa market, which has been holding fairly steady in the recent past while other areas of the country have struggled,” said IAR president Kurt Schade in a statement. “We have felt fortunate not to have experienced huge fluctuations as seen in other parts of the country. July was a solid month and we are optimistic about continued upward movement of both sales and prices in the future.”

The statement said that the IAR tries to support policies that promote responsible home ownership. Ensuring that potential homeowners shop within their means will help the market continually improve, according to the IAR.

While most of the news was positive, the average amount of time a property sits on the market increased slightly from last year. Homes spend an average of 108 days on the market, up from 100 in July 2010.

Barb Suehl-Janis, an area Realtor, said this is great news for Iowa homebuyers. She said that in the past few months, she’s seen a remarkable turnaround in the market.

“This is great for us around here,” she said. “It’s been very stagnant for a year and a half.”

Suehl-Janis said that local Realtors have been moving homes under $80,000 almost exclusively over the past year.

Recently, however, homes valued at more than $200,000 are beginning to sell again.

She said great rates make it almost cheaper to own a home than rent in the current climate.

“It’s really smart now to purchase,” she said. “It’s just so affordable. (Prospective homeowners) are completely crazy not to do it now.”

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