The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

April 16, 2013

Home sales down, but market still busy

By Katie Dahlstrom Herald Staff Writer
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — Home sales in the Clinton market were down slightly in March compared to February and the numbers are still down from the previous year.

In March, the Clinton Board of Realtors reported that 24 homes were sold, down from the 26 that were sold in February and the 34 homes that were sold in March 2012. So far this year, 67 homes have been sold compared to 100 that had been sold by this point last year.

The Clinton Board of Realtors covers Clinton and Jackson counties in Iowa as well as some listings in Scott County. Clinton Board President Barb Suehl Janis said the decrease in home sales doesn't indicate a lull in the market.

"We were seeing things going up. Now we're kind of backsliding," Suehl Janis said. "But it's still a good market and a busy market."

Across the state, home sales were up .7 percent in March and are up 5 percent so far this year when compared to last year according to a report issued by the Iowa Association of Realtors.

Suehl Janis also said the inventory in the area is down, which could contribute to the lower volume of home sales. Specifically, the amount of one- versus two-story homes on the market contributes to the sales trend.

"Historically, our region has older population than areas where things are booming. The two-story homes don't sell as fast in our area. We need more ranches," Suehl Janis said.

The average sale price of a home in the Clinton area was $73,931, down from $101,341 in March of last year. The average sale price of a home so far this year is $71,250, 20.4 percent less than the $89,5000 average sale price last year.

Suehl Janis, said homes costing upwards of $150,000 have started to garner more attention than they had previously.

"With the interest rates historically low, you can buy so much more house for your money," she said. "If you're going to move and get what you want, now is the time."

The average price of a home in Iowa was $144,372 in March, up 4.4. percent from last March. The average price of a home so far this year is up to $125,000. This represents a 5.9 percent increase over the average sale price of a home from last year.

A home in the Clinton market sat for an average 122 days, a 31.3 percent increase over the 93 days a house sat on the market by the same time last year.

Statewide, houses are sitting on the market for 107 days, down from 120 days during the same period last year.