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Q4 2015: Des Moines Metro Market Snapshot

By Kalen | Published January 18, 2016

Sales of existing homes picked up the pace in 2015, returning Iowa to levels not seen since prior to the recession. It was a historic year with regards to the 8,795 total single-family and 1,456 new construction homes sold in the Des Moines-metro area.

Activity is picking up as the housing recovery attracts more buyers in the 18 communities I track on behalf of Peoples Company throughout Greater Des Moines. At the same time, choices are still limited by a lack of available inventory within some buyers’ budgets.

As of December 31, there were 2,043 active listings of single-family homes in the Des Moines-metro area, or 301 fewer than the previous year. The inventory of new construction homes increased slightly, as of December 31, to 666 homes. That’s compared with 643 new construction homes listed at the end of 2014, and 606 the year before.

Our statistics show that new construction homes across the Des Moines metro sold faster in 2015, spending 23 fewer days on the market than the previous year. The inventory of new construction homes fell, as of December 31, to a 5.5 months supply, compared with 6.4 months at the end of 2014.

Given all the recent sales activity, it may come as a surprise that inventories of new construction are at a near-all-time low. In reality, builders may be having a hard time meeting demand for entry-level price points.

Taking into consideration the percentage of active new construction homes on the market within various price points, we mapped out the percentage of homes sold in corresponding ranges. What we discovered is that 23 percent of the active inventory falls in the $250,000 to $299,000 price range, as did 29 percent of the homes sold in 2015.

It was also determined that cities including Adel, Ankeny, Clive, Grimes, Urbandale, Van Meter and Waukee had lower-than-average inventories of new construction homes listed on the market in the $200,000 to $249,000 and $250,000 to $299,000 price ranges.

The low supply of homes provides builders with many opportunities to help fill that void in the marketplace. If I were a builder, it would seem smart for me to focus on the sweet spots in which most demand lies, including cities with the fewest months of supply.

Townhomes and detached, villa-style homes are another terrific way of introducing first-time buyers to new construction – in an entry-level range that offers a more palatable price, compared with single-family homes.

Click to uncover past insights on new construction activity, along with a complete rundown of current Des Moines Metro Single Family Housing Statistics here.

– 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. After listening and understanding the needs of my clients, I offer appropriate feedback and credible data that help buyers and seller make informed decisions in regards to real estate transactions. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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Kalen Ludwig
Cell: 515.402.3169
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Keaton Dreher
Cell: 515.650.1276
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Peoples Company
Office: 515.222.1347
12119 Stratford Drive, Suite B
Clive, IA 50325

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