When I'm out and about and run into people it takes about 30 seconds for the topic of conversation to turn to what is on every Homeowner's and Homebuyer's mind...Just how is the Iowa City Real Estate Market doing anyway?
I'm an Iowa City Realtor who's also an information junkie, so researching market conditions is fun for me... Yes, I know - strange but true!
This is Part 1 of my take on how the Iowa City Housing Market is doing.
Part 2 covers Coralville and North Liberty. The three areas are interconnected so it's the best way to see how the Iowa City Area Housing Market is trending.
It's the beginning of August so I'll start is with some market statistics for home sales in July for Iowa City.There were 172 homes sold in Iowa City in July 2009 in comparison to 152 homes sold in July 2008. The median price dropped from $169,450 last year to $159,250 this year.
So what does this tell us? It's easy to see that home sales are up and prices down, the question is why is that??
The answer may be easier than you think...First Time Homebuyers are driving the market in Iowa City, just the same as in other parts of the country.
How do I come up with that? First Time Homebuyers are not typically in the market for high end homes, they're just starting out and looking for the deals out there. 125 of the 172 homes sold in Iowa City in July were priced under $200,000. That's 72% of the homes sold.
I picked $200,000 as a benchmark for simplicity's sake, most first time homebuyers stay well under that amount, meaning that probably even more homes were sold to that segment of buyers than my estimated 72%.
This high demand for lower priced homes is the main reason for the drop in the median price.
Sellers in Iowa City can be happy about that. Technically it looks like home prices are falling when really the numbers are skewed by the fact that it's lower priced homes that are selling.
In June we saw a 0% change in home sales over 2008, and as a glass half full kind of person I thought that was pretty positive - after all, the market wasn't declining...
July home sales in Iowa City were up by 13%, what's not to like about that? All in all, to answer my own question, the Iowa City Real Estate Market is looking pretty good right now for homes in Iowa City.
How about Coralville and North Liberty? How do they compare to Iowa City? I can tell you this much, North Liberty is having a big impact on sales in the area. You can read more in my post Coralville & North Liberty IA Real Estate Market Update.
This is my first post giving you the latest data on home sales in Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty Iowa. Check back monthly to see how we're doing!
Source for market statistics: Iowa City Area MLS August 5, 2009
Many Thanks to HHoran Studio for the aerial photo of Iowa City