By Katie Dahlstrom
Herald Staff Writer
While the Iowa housing market saw improvement last month, sales in the Clinton market dropped by more than 50 percent in January compared to the same month a year prior, a new report from the Iowa Association of Realtors shows.
Iowa home sales increased by 14.7 percent last month when compared to January a year earlier. This January, 1,898 homes were sold in Iowa compared to 1,655 last January. Clinton was one of 16 out of 44 realtor boards in the state that did not show an increase.
Last month Clinton home sales dropped by 55.9 percent to 15 homes sold when compared January a year prior.
In December, 32 homes were sold in the Clinton market. Overall last year, the Clinton market had a 16.8 percent increase in homes sold compared to 2011.
Across Iowa, home sales increased for the last 18 out of 19 months.
The Clinton market had a little more than 200 listings, which is average for this time of year, Clinton Board of Realtors CEO Kay Merino said.
Merino said January is a slow month for the area. She contributed the 34 homes sold in January 2012 to the mild winter. Once the winter drab disappears, the local market sees an uptick.
“Usually during winter months things slow down, but things speed up in April,” Merino said. “It’s like spring fever for us.”
Merino said the pending opening of the Thomson, Ill., Prison is expected to have a positive affect on the local housing market, but that bump has yet to be seen.
Average sale prices for homes sold in the Clinton market in January were also down when compared to January a year earlier. The average sale price of a home was $72,347 last month, a 16.2 percent decrease compared to the $86,379 in January 2012. Median sale prices in the Clinton market also decreased last month by 6.5 percent to $56,100.
In Iowa, the average sale price of a home increased by 6.3 percent compared to January 2012 to $136,183. The median home price in Iowa for January 2013 was $108,199, up 7.3 percent from last January.
The Clinton market did experience some positive change last month. Clinton was one of 27 boards to report a decrease in the number of days a house sat on the market when compared to January 2012. The average days on the market was 74, down 23.9 percent from 97 days on the market a year earlier.
The Clinton market also had a lower days on the market average than the state, which had an average of 102 days.