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Des Moines Housing Market: 2017 Update

Last January, I reported that the number of home sales annually continued to increase year-over-year (see full report for 2016 here).  This past year, the number of home sales continued to rise, but at a slower pace.  In 2016, 14,087 homes were sold.  In 2017, 14,696 homes were sold, an increase of 4.3%.  As in 2016, the most homes in 2017 were sold in the $100k-150k and $150-200k price brackets.

Show Me the Data

If you revel in numbers, here are the sales by price bracket in the past three years*:

Des Moines Housing Market Statistics for 2017


We have 3,204 active listings as of Jan 4th 2018, roughly 2.6 months of active inventory on the market.  This would indicate that we have a seller’s market**.  However, some price ranges are seller’s markets (marked in red), some price ranges are balanced markets (marked in purple), and the rest are actually buyer’s markets.  

What is the Bottom Line?

Real estate markets are highly segmented.  Even watching the local news may not give you the full picture; you need to know what’s happening for your situation.

  • If you are buying a home in a seller’s market, don’t wait for other buyers to jump in with you.  Listings are already starting to pick back up after the holidays, but many buyers wait until later in the year.  Start preparing to look right now so that you’re ready to move when you find THE ONE (click here for more information about buying a home).  You’ll want to identify your ideal house and price range, so you know what to expect.
  • If you are planning to sell a home, you need the latest and most complete information possible.  Even the numbers above may not be segmented enough to tell the full story for your particular house and situation (click here for more information about selling a home).  Spend some time doing your research, so you know what to expect.
  • If you’re not looking to buy or sell residential real estate in 2018, this will not impact you directly.  However, it’s always nice to keep an eye on the market.

Whether your 2018 plans involve a move or not, I’d love to hear from you. What do you want to see in future newsletters? Email me anytime!

* 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.  Some areas may also have joined the DMAAR MLS, which would add additional sales. All numbers are accurate as of Jan-4-2018. 
** 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.