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Q1 2014: Des Moines Metro Market Snapshot

By admin | Published October 02, 2014

Peoples Company’s Annual Builder & Developer Luncheon on February 28 was well attended by more than 250 of the Des Moines-metro area’s builders, bankers, developers and city leaders gathering for an overview of the housing economy.

My presentation on single-family housing statistics for Q1 2014 in the metro followed a talk by national economist Dr. Vince Malanga. I included an analysis of recent activity on the local level, compared with pre-recession data.

The feel of the luncheon was influenced by all the positive attention Central Iowa has received in the national press – as pointed out by Jay Byers of the Greater Des Moines Partnership – as well as the energy generated by builders coming off of a robust building and development year.

Overall, last year was a high time for the Des Moines housing market with close-to-pre-recession numbers signaling that the market has bottomed out. We did advise builders and developers to remain optimistic, yet cautious, as they start homes and develop plats in 2014 and 2015. Read more in a Des Moines Register article featuring comments and information shared by Scott Kelly and myself from the luncheon.

Des Moines has certainly seen an upswing in the market for new construction and sales of existing homes, in many cases approaching peaks from the 2005 building boom with 7,706 single-family homes sold in 2013, compared with 7,935 in 2005.

By comparison, there were 1,693 new construction homes sold in 2005, compared with 1,284 in 2013.

Among the evidence of this shift back into high gear are 93 plats that were developed throughout Des Moines in 2013. That resulted in the addition of 2,301 new lots, compared with 1,283 the prior year.

Current Market Snapshot – Des Moines Metro Area

As of February 2014 As of February 2013 As of February 2012
Total Active 2,459 2,495 2,792
New Construction Active 621 475 531
Total Pending 963 1,063 945
New Construction Pending 225 257 207
Total SOLD 7,706 6,593 5,580
New Construction SOLD 1,284 1,192

*Sold includes single-family homes sold in calendar year.

The future for economic development activity looks bright in the Des Moines-metro area, which is experiencing a period of significant growth and has a low supply of single-family homes.

Inventories have remained relatively flat, creating demand for new homes to be built. If interest rates remain low and builders and developers don’t overbuild in the market, we should be well positioned for a robust next couple of years.

For more information on new construction lots, or access to a more complete set of local housing statistics at my disposal, email or feel free to give me a call today.

Kalen Ludwig

I am a Residential REALTOR® and Certified New Construction Sales Professional who specializes in helping homebuyers locate a suitable lot, secure a qualified builder, and pick a perfect floor plan to match their unique tastes or personal style. The ability to listen and understand the needs of her clients allows me to offer appropriate feedback and credible data that help sellers and buyers make informed decisions regarding real estate transactions. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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