Buying a home this year? Be prepared to compete!

Buying a home this year? Be prepared to compete!

Buying a home this year? Be prepared to compete!

You might remember from last quarter’s update that 2021’s real estate market started with a bang. This second quarter has proven to be more of the same.

While we are starting to see some listing inventory, we’re still running at about 65% of the normal inventory for this time of year.  This is due to a few reasons: sellers are hesitant to put their homes on the market if they don’t have their next home lined up, and builders are hesitant to list homes while the pricing is still so very volatile.

Though the market’s numbers are showing how little inventory we have, anecdotally, we’re starting to see listings slow down a little. I actually showed two houses on Saturday that had been on the market 2 and 8 days, respectively! If homes are priced correctly and look good, however, we’re still seeing multiple offers.

Check out this quarter’s numbers in the chart below. Unlike in past updates, we have a seller’s market (less than three months of inventory available) through almost all price ranges. We have a balanced market (three to six months of inventory available) in two price ranges, and a buyer’s market (more than six months of inventory) in only one price range.

2nd Qtr housing sales in des moines iowa 2021

How does this compare to regular years? Some commentary:

  • Last year, at this time, we had over 2,833 houses for sale (2020 2nd Qtr Update for reference). We have 65% of that inventory available now (although this was an improvement from the 2021 1st Qtr update).
  • We are selling more homes (by about 1,000) than we had at this time last year. Buyers are excited to buy, and sellers are excited to sell!
  • The average prices continue to rise year-over-year. This is due to high demand and lack of homes for sale.

Okay, you get it. The housing market is insane. What does this mean to you?

  • If you’re buying a home, you must have all your ducks in a row. Get pre-approved. Meet with your agent. Be prepared for the emotional rollercoaster before you set foot at your first showing. And be flexible with your time.
  • If you’re selling a home, don’t get complacent. If buyers are paying top dollar, they expect the house to be in great shape. We can help you get ready.
  • Buyers and sellers: Be ready for the high of getting the house and then the low of inspection. It’s real.

But if the market is so crazy, should I wait to buy?

  • That depends on your financial situation. While the inventory will catch up, interest rates are also going up. If you’re solid financially, now may be the time to buy. Just be ready.
  • If you also need to sell in order to buy your next home, let’s talk about what that means for you.

The Bottom Line

This market is not for the faint of heart. For sellers: getting a sign in your yard and being able to mark it as PENDING is only the first step. For buyers: you will want a REALTOR® on your side; we sometimes know what properties are coming up even a few hours before they hit the market, so we can get you in early.

If you have a REALTOR®, that’s great.  If you don’t, the Home Sweet Des Moines team (brokered by RE/MAX Precision) is ready to help. Here’s how to contact us:

We’d love to help.

And even if you’re not moving, feel free to say hi. We love all our clients, past, present, and future!

Enjoy your summer!

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Home Sweet Des Moines – RE/MAX Precision


* 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 twelve months of sales numbers.