Is the market starting to calm down? 

Is the market starting to calm down? 

Maybe! 

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know that the last few market updates have been talking about an extreme seller’s market (see July’s update here).  

We are starting to see signs now that this is slowing down slightly, but it’s still a seller’s market in almost every price range.  Whether this will continue past the normal fall / winter slow down, or whether we’ll see the extreme seller’s market next spring, depends on a number of macroeconomic factors still to be decided. 

Comparing Listings Quarter Over Quarter

Before we get into the actual sales numbers, take a look at the two following charts, showing the active properties and pending properties by price range and quarter below.  

What I’m seeing is that between July and October of this year, the number of active properties went up, but the number of pending properties went down.  This is showing that buyers are slowing down, and certainly matches what we’ve been seeing anecdotally over the last couple of weeks.  

But is it still a seller’s market?

Definitely.  It’s still a seller’s market, though it’s weakening ever so slightly. 

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 one price range, and a buyer’s market (more than six months of inventory) in only one price range.


Some comments that strike me immediately:

  • Prices are continuing to rise at a rapid pace.  We are unlikely to see prices from 2020 or even 2019 come back for a long time, if ever. 
  • Active listings are typically selling faster than they did historically. But not quite as fast as earlier in the summer. 

So, what does this mean to you?

  • For sellers: We’re not seeing homes list and sell with 10+ offers nearly as often. Be prepared to sit on the market, just a little longer than one day. Remember that in a balanced market, it’s not unusual to be for sale for a couple of months. 
  • For buyers: Prices are just going up. If you wait to buy, you may find that what you can afford is not quite what you can afford now. 
  • And I’ll repeat what I said previously: Buyers and sellers: Be ready for the high of getting the house and then the low of inspection. It’s real. 

The Bottom Line

Watching the local real estate market is a full-time occupation. That’s what we do. 

Getting a SALE PENDING sign, or getting under contract on your new home, is only the first step. 

Considering a move? 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!

Happy Fall!

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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 three months of sales numbers.  

**** 3rd Quarter and October numbers run 10/04/2021.