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Real Estate in Des Moines: Inventory is starting to come back!

Real Estate in Des Moines: Inventory is starting to come back!

Like most locations around the country, we’ve seen some volatility in the housing market here in Des Moines. And, we finally have a glimmer of good news: available inventory is coming back!

First, let’s look at where we’ve been. Some past market updates you may want to read:

Here are the trends I’m seeing from the numbers:

  • Inventory is finally coming back! We have over 3,100 homes for sale, as opposed to almost 2,800 homes for sale at the end of the second quarter.
  • In Q2 and Q3 of 2023, the number of homes sold was virtually flat. Some price points showed a slight decrease, while others showed a slight increase.
  • However, in 2023 so far, we’re nowhere near the annual number of homes that we saw sold in 2021 or even in 2022. So, overall, the market IS slowing. If the trend continues, we’ll see around 13,000 homes sold in 2023, vs 15,000 – 17,000.
  • Prices, however, continue to rise. The average home price inched upwards from $317k to $320k between the second and third quarters of 2023.
  • We still have three different markets:
    • Below $350,000, we have a strong seller’s market still.
    • Between $350,000 and $1,000,000, we have a balanced market.
    • Above $1,000,000, we have a strong buyer’s market.

So, with all of that said, let’s dig into the “nerdy” stuff: the comparisons and numbers.

For those of you who prefer a graphical representation, take a look at the two data points on which I focused this month:

Sales by Quarter in 2023:

Active Inventory by Quarter in 2023:

So … what am I seeing? First, in almost EVERY price point, we have more active inventory at the end of Q3 than we had at the end of Q2. And, boy, is it about time. Second, sales are MUCH slower in 2023 than in 2022 or 2021, which is what we expected.

The Numbers Behind the Graphs

The chart below shows where we have been so far in 2023 (active and pending snapshots are as of 10-Oct-2023). As always, whether we have a seller’s market, a balanced market, or a buyer’s market varies widely based on the price point.  You can see the seller’s market, balanced market, and buyer’s market price points below.

What Can We Expect Through the Remainder of 2023?

 Interest rates continue to be volatile, which will impact buyers. Those buyers who are determined to buy may decide to drop their target price or even put their plans on hold temporarily. Those sellers who don’t NEED to sell will probably wait. That being said, interest rates are still expected to drop in 2024-2025, so don’t lose hope that you’ll be able to refinance.

We have continued to see pending transactions fall through at a higher rate, especially in the lower price points, due to inspection, appraisal, or financing issues. Don’t forget: getting a house under contract is only the FIRST step. This will most likely continue through the rest of 2023.

Finally, because buyers feel like they are paying top dollar in the lower price points, they are being very picky with what they choose to buy. Even though we have a strong seller’s market, not all homes are being sold within 12 hours with multiple offers. Plan accordingly!

Considering Buying?

If you’re considering buying a home in 2023 … here’s what you need to know:

  • You must be pre-approved before looking at homes. I can’t emphasize this enough; with rates going up, we need to have a fantastic idea of your price range before viewing a single home.
  • You really need a REALTOR® to help you buy. We have the most up-to-date access to listings and often hear about upcoming listings before they hit the market. Use our relationships to your advantage!
  • Depending on the price point in which you want to buy, you may need to be ready to jump into showings ASAP.

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.

Considering Selling?

We’d love to help you sell! Let’s work together to prepare your home, price it well, and photograph and market it throughout the metro. We want you to be one of those homes that goes QUICKLY!

Depending on your price point, let’s work together to set expectations for while your home is on the market, and how fast we expect it to sell.

The Bottom Line

If you are pondering moving, contact us! We are happy to meet for a coffee and chat.

Considering a move? If you have a REALTOR®, that’s great.  If you don’t, the Home Sweet Des Moines team (brokered by Realty ONE Group Impact) 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!

Have a fabulous rest of 2023!

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Home Sweet Des Moines – Realty ONE Group Impact

* 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 and lot listings 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.