2020: Be kind to your realtor friends: We are still busy!

2020: Be kind to your realtor friends: We are still busy!

And the real estate market here in Des Moines is still hopping.  While fall has brought cooler temperatures to our lives, it hasn’t appreciably cooled the real estate market yet.

Let’s look at the real estate market numbers for this quarter (for past market updates, click here: 2020 2nd Qtr Update, 2019 Update). We typically see the second quarter and third quarter showing similar average prices and similar number of home sales; that hasn’t been the case this year.  Check it out; you can see the difference between 2019 and 2020.

The chart below shows where we have been in 2020. As always, whether we have a seller’s market (less than three months of inventory available), a balanced market (three to six months of inventory available), or a buyer’s market (more than six months of inventory available) varies widely based on the price point.  You can see the seller’s market, balanced market, and buyer’s market price points below.

Des Moines Iowa Area Home Sales

Our Observations:

Market Pricing

The average priced JUMPED AGAIN from $245,585.29 in the 2nd quarter, to $254,005.92 in the 3rd quarter of 2020.  Wow.  Why are we seeing this jump?  It’s still due to interest rates.  Buyers that are moving up to their next homes are able to sell and use the equity to buy a more expensive home than previously planned.

We are still seeing strong sellers’ markets, but this quarter, those markets are all the way up to the $600,000 price range.  For the Des Moines market, that’s extremely unusual.

Market is Slowing Down… Slightly

We are finally starting to see a slow down in the active and pending sales.  At the end of Q2, we had almost 2,900 active listings, and over 3,500 pending listings.  These numbers are lower here, which is exactly what we’d expect at this time of year.

We also had our annual pause in the market in the middle of August.  Normally, this is due to the Iowa State Fair and school starting; this year, we attribute it to the derecho and required clean up efforts around the community.

Listings under $250,000 are still selling with multiple offers, but not as frequently.  If you’re buying, be ready to compete and put your best foot forward.  If you’re selling, pricing right and presenting your home beautifully is key.  For what it’s worth, we keep up with the real estate markets nationally; every market is hot, from what we’ve heard.

What’s Coming in the Market?

We do expect our seasonal slowdown to continue in some fashion.  If you do have to sell, it’s best to spend the time to make your home pop and understand that you may no longer see 10-20 offers.  Keep in mind: you only need one great offer!

If it’s time to buy, you may not need to see a new listing in 30 minutes in order to bid on it.  Whew! But, don’t skip initial steps like getting a pre-approval or having a buyer consultation.

By the way, if you’re neither selling nor buying, but you purchased a home prior to 2020, it might be time to refinance.  Our mortgage experts weighed in on the refinance question here.

The Bottom Line

If you need or want to make a change to your home, let’s go ahead and do it. Interest rates are still amazing, and we’re starting to see enough inventory out there to give you some choices.

And if you want to plan to make a move later in the year or beyond, we can help you prepare.  We are happy to meet (virtually or socially distanced) for a coffee and chat.

Email Nora or Tawnia if we can do anything for you.  Stay healthy and be kind!


* Sales prices in thousands.  This data includes all residential properties in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors (DMAAR).  For Sale By Owner homes may not be included.
** Seller’s markets are those with 0-3 months of inventory. Balanced markets are those with 3-6 months of inventory. Buyer’s markets are those with 6+ months of inventory.

*** Months of inventory determined by the last three months of sales numbers.