Thinking about buying or selling real estate soon? Do you like to stay up-to-date on your local real estate market? Here is your dose of local numbers from the Iowa City Area Association of Realtors for quarter two of 2019. Spoiler alert! While at first blush the numbers may look rosy, there are some mixed signals that lead to the question of if we’re seeing the beginnings of a shift in our Iowa City real estate market! You can watch my video on the topic, Market Minute – Quarter 2 Iowa City Area Real Estate, here!
How’s the Market?
The greater Iowa City area is normally insulated from the whims of the sometimes volatile nation real estate thanks to the University of Iowa. We just don’t often experience the high and lows of the market that many other areas in the nation see. Our normal rate of appreciation, locally, is between 2-4% a year, depending upon location, and some pockets of Johnson County are even higher!
How do the Numbers Stack Up?
Q2 2019 (quarter 2 of 2019) had 1,158 active single family listings on the MLS, which was up 50 properties from the same time last year. The average number of days on market (DOM) for Q2 2019 was 62, which is shorter than we saw for Q1 2019, at 75. The shortened DOM is to be expected as we moved into the spring market, which is traditionally our busiest time of year.
Across the board, in all different price brackets, our absorption rate has us solidly in a seller’s market in our local Iowa City area market. To learn more about absorption rate, what it means, and how it is calculated, check out my YouTube video here.
Despite the normal signals that our local real estate market is chugging along “normally” as it has done for the last several years, there is a red flag in the numbers! The Q2 2019 average sales price in the Iowa City Area Association of Realtors reported data was $238,658, which is a $12,358 REDUCTION from our average sales price in Q2 2018! Because the greater Iowa City area is not a huge metro, these number may not be statistically significant. Yet. However, they are definitely interesting, and make me wonder if we hare looking at the beginning of a shift from our currently strong seller’s market into a more balanced market. I will keep my eye on how things shake out and keep you updated!
What Does it Mean For Buyers and Sellers?
It is next to impossible to “time” the market for most average buyers and sellers. After all, the need to either buy or sell real estate is often tied to major life changes and milestones which don’t have anything to do with which way the wind is blowing in the world of real estate. So, what do these locally mixed signals mean for you?
Now is still a great time to buy a house! The interest rates are amazing and WAY lower than they were predicted to be. Given that our DOM is low, it is going to be important for you to work closely with a Realtor® who is able to get you into new listings quickly, if not even before they hit the market. (Early bird showings are da’ bomb! Ask me how to make this happen for you!). Not only will you want an agent who is Johnny On The Spot, you’ll also want an agent who knows the market inside and out. Given the data that came out of our Q2 2019 numbers, you don’t want to pay too much in your rush to snap up a desirable property, but you still need to be realistic, given that we’re operating in a seller’s market. Make sure your agent confident in researching comparable properties to help you determine what is a fair price to offer for the house of your dreams!
The dip in our local average sales price is concerning when it’s time to sell, but it’s not the marker for our market. Other signals are still showing we’re in a strong seller’s market. What can you do to make the most money on the sale of your house? Work with an agent who will guide you in all the ways possible to make your house “shine” both literally and figuratively so that you can attract multiple buyers and command the top of your price range. For some quick ideas on what to avoid, check out my video here for things buyer’s hate! Having an educated and accurate likely price range is key so that you don’t fall into the dreaded cycle of price reductions. If you’d like to talk about strategy to get your house sold, I’d love to chat! Give me a call or text at 319-594-4455.