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Q4 2014: Des Moines Metro Housing Snapshot

By Kalen | Published January 21, 2015

The Des Moines Metro Market Snapshot is a quarterly report featuring inventories of new construction and existing single-family homes in the 18 communities I track for Peoples Company. My reports cover the residential housing data and statistics presented during Peoples Company’s Annual Builder & Developer Luncheon, and provide updates on the Des Moines-area market throughout the year.

The number of town homes sold in the Des Moines-metro area last year shot up by an impressive 108, compared with 2013, as total sales of single-family homes decreased by 1 percent. Interestingly, inventories of single-family homes remain very low in the Des Moines market after decreasing steadily for several years.

There were only 2,342 of these properties on the market heading in to2015, with the average list price of a single-family home available in the local market standing at $247,000 in Q4 2014. The average sale price of a single-family home in or around Des Moines last year was $199,000.

Q4 2014 Q4 2013 Q4 2012
Total ACTIVE 2342 2521 3312
New Construction ACTIVE 674 510 560
Total PENDING 1147 1348 1064
New Construction PENDING 301 347 273
Total SOLD 7717 6593 5580
New Construction SOLD 1287 1192 998
Total Months Supply 5.8 4.7 5.3
New Construction Months Supply 9.2 4.9 4.6

We have watched local inventories of new construction grow in the past couple of years to 648; on sale here at the end of 2014. This is just one very positive sign for the housing market, and there is still demand to fill with buyers already coming out of the woodwork in early in the New Year. In fact, there are many signals pointing to another stable year with slight growth potential.

The Federal Savings Bank reported on how fuel costs could impact the housing market as oil dipped below $50 a barrel for the first time in five years. Lower prices at the pump translates in to more household income. That fact, combined with continued low-interest rates, could spur confidence in first-time buyers to switch from paying high rents to taking on an affordable mortgage.

The only problem is the price range of new construction homes available. When analyzing the new construction market, we found that only 23, or 3.5 percent, of the 648 new homes are listed in the under $200,000 price range. This can limit the number of single-income households currently able to buy in to the new construction market, with $326,000 being the averages list price in Greater Des Moines.

REALTORs, however, hope this trend spurs greater quantities of re-sales along with new listing opportunities for new construction homes in 2015! Given the sense of financial freedom being experienced by renters due to low transportation costs – along with access to reasonably priced home loans – we see this as one sector that has growth-year potential in 2015.

As re-sales occur and fresh inventories of new construction come online, new doors will be opened for moves up in the market among new buyers, as well as seasoned homeowners looking toward spring. For more information on listings by Kalen Ludwig or your next real estate investment opportunity, find it on my website and contact me at [email protected].

Peoples Company will host its Annual Builder & Developer Luncheon on February 27, 2015, at the Sheraton West Des Moines Hotel. Join Kalen, Peoples Company, Diligent Development and Acquire magazine crew for the 8th Annual. Go to Kalen’s website at and RSVP for the Builder Luncheon on the bottom right-hand.

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