By Katie Dahlstrom Assistant Editor
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON — More than 25 percent of the Clinton housing stock was sold in July, a slice of the real-estate market that local Realtors say matched their hectic pace.
“We had a great July. I knew we were busy,” Clinton Board of Realtors President Barb Suehl Janis said.
Area Realtors sold 59 homes in July, a 73.5 percent increase over July 2012 when 34 homes were sold. The 59 homes made up 28 percent of the listings in the market in July. The Clinton market consists of Clinton and Jackson counties, and Illinois communities, such as Fulton and Albany.
Across the state, home sales were up by 18.3 percent in July, according to a report by the Iowa Association of Realtors last week.
The Clinton market is still behind on its sales year to date by 7.4 percent. However, 7.4 percent is a welcome improvement compared to the 24 percent the market was down year to date in the first six months of the year. So far this year, home sales in Iowa are up 8 percent compared to last year.
Homes sold this July also cost more than homes sold last July. The average price of a home sold in the Clinton market was $107,271, up from $102,077 during the same month last year.
“We are selling mostly homes in the $80,000 to $120,000 range. We also sold some homes around the $75,000 range because of a number of homes ADM bought in South Clinton,” Suehl Janis said.
The average sale price in Iowa rose by 10.8 percent, while the median sale price increased by 7.1 percent. The average sale price was $168,823 in July, and $152,361 last July. The median sale price was $142,700 in July 2013, and $133,250 in July 2012.
“June and July 2013 recorded the two highest average and median sales price figures ever recorded by IAR since it began the current data tracking system in 2005,” said Don Marple, president of the Iowa Association of Realtors
While sales were up, the number of listings in the area remains down. The Clinton market has 224 active listings, according to Suehl Janis, falling substantially lower than the typical 280 to 300 listings.
Inventory across the state is down. At the end of July there were 19,622 homes for sale across the state, down 8 percent from last year when the inventory was 21,332.
The homes listed don’t include those that homeowners choose to sell without the help of a Realtor.
“We do see a lot of for sale by owner, but after their house sits on the market for a couple of months, they usually turn to a Realtor,” Suehl Janis said.
She added in addition to the often-sought after ranch-style homes, the market could also use some homes above the $250,000 mark.
“We don’t have a huge demand for homes in that price, but when people look for homes in that range they want more options,” Suehl Janis said. “We have trouble getting and keeping people who want more upscale homes because we don’t have many.”
The median sale price for Clinton market homes was $94,900 in July, another upswing for the area. The median sale price increased 13.5 percent over last July when it was $83,950.
While more homes sold, and those that sold were more expensive, they also sat on the market for longer in July when compared to the same month last year.
A home in the Clinton market sat for 105 days this July compared to 85 in July 2012, a number that local Realtors found hard to believe.
“We really feel the days on the market have shortened,” Suehl Janis said. “It’s all about proper pricing. If you price them right you will sell your home.”
There was a significant decrease in average days on the market in Iowa, down nearly 20 percent from last year, putting the average under 90 days.