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How was Real Estate in 2020 in Des Moines?

How was Real Estate in 2020 in Des Moines?

2020 will live on in our minds as the year no one predicted. And the Des Moines real estate market was certainly much stronger through 2020 than we thought it would be in March of 2020.

We had a record-breaking year of real estate sales here in Des Moines, jumping from ~14,000 transactions to over 16,000.  This was, by far, the strongest real estate market we’ve had since we started our annual updates way back in 2015. And, the fiery real estate market is poised to continue through 2021.

Let’s look at the real estate market numbers for this quarter (for past market updates, click here: 2020 3rd Qtr Update, 2019 Update). Here are some notable changes, year over year:

  • Properties sold jumped by over 2,000 houses
  • Active properties for sale dropped from 3,560 properties to 2,210 properties
  • Properties under contract jumped from 1,545 properties to 2,050 properties (as of Jan 4th, 2021)
  • Average price jumped from $231,879.94 to $245,182.49

You can even see the changing price points in the chart below:


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.

Our Observations:

Considering Buying?

If you’re considering buying a home in the next couple of years… try to buy now. There are two reasons for this:

  • Interest rates are still insanely low. Seriously. If you want a recommendation to a mortgage lender, here are our favorites: Tell them Nora and Tawnia sent you!
  • Prices are going up. Buying the same house in a year or two will be more expensive.

And if this describes you, and you decide to jump in… be prepared. Meet with the realtor of your choice (preferably us, of course!), get on an automated search on the Multiple Listing Service, and be flexible with your schedule so you can see houses right away.  We do not have enough houses on the market, so the good ones move quickly!

Considering Selling?

Yes, please! If you have a home you want to tell, please, please, get it on the market! Again, meet with the realtor of your choice (hey, we’re here!), and get moving. We desperately need more houses on the market to show our buyers. Sellers love having 5-10 offers per property, but we realtors would love to see more of a balanced market for our buyers.

Not Moving?

So, you already love where you live? That’s awesome because moving is a pain. Right? 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 think 2021 is the year for you to move, contact us! 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 twelve months of sales numbers.