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Mid-Year 2019 Des Moines Housing Report

2019 is half over… how’s the housing market doing?

We’re in the height of the 2019 housing market, and there are almost 4,000 houses for sale in the Des Moines area right now.

(By the way, if you want to see our past market updates, click here: 2019 1stQtr Update, 2018 Update, 2017 Update)

Earlier this year, we had a slower start to the spring due to unseasonably cold temperatures, but starting in early April, the market started coming back.  In general, it’s continued strong in some price ranges.  We’ve also had the lowest interest rates this summer than we had since in late 2017 / early 2018, which has continued to goose the first-time homebuyer market.

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.

So, here is what we’re seeing with this data:

  • We still have a seller’s market for houses priced below $200,000. In this price range, you must be pre-approved before you start seeing houses, and you must be ready to make a decision quickly.
  • Over the past six months, the higher price ranges are beginning to slow down. Check out this graph showing the markets in each price range from the end of 2018, 1stquarter of 2019, and 1sthalf of 2019.

What is happening here is that the start of the balanced and buyers’ markets is moving lower and lower.  It’s early to tell if this is the start of a slowdown, or an anomaly.

  • If you’re selling something priced a bit higher (even $250,000 and up), you must keep this in mind:
    • The house needs to SPARKLE before it goes on the market. Buyers have more choice, so you need to attract them.
    • If you’re selling a house priced above $350,000, you will need to be ready for a longer wait, or you will need to price in a compelling manner.

What can we expect for the rest of the year?

Mortgage rates are still below 4% and are expected to stay there for the remainder of the year (or potentially drop a little more).  This is a great time to buy if that fits in your plans.  Or, this is a great time to refinance; you can lower your payments or even take out cash to pay off higher interest debt.  If you’d like to explore the refinance option, you can check our list of mortgage lenders here.

If you’re not moving, make sure you maintain your property.  Deferred maintenance items tend to come up during inspections.  Need ideas on what updates will bring you the highest return?  Just ask.

While the numbers above may give you an idea of what to expect, if you are thinking about making a move, contact us, and we can discuss your situation in more detail, so you can either get the most money for selling your house or buy a new house for the right price (or both)!

* 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 six months of sales numbers.