Mar 30, 2023 - Real Estate

Des Moines home sales declined nearly 30% in February

Data: RE/MAX; Note: Overall number includes 50 metro areas analyzed by RE/MAX; Table: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Home sales were down 29% year over year in the Des Moines metro area, per RE/MAX's February report.

Why it matters: In 2022, potential buyers were desperate for more inventory. Now, homes are hitting the market but people can’t afford them.

What's happening: Rates for a 30-year loan were at 6.09% in early February 2023, and shot up to 6.65% by the end of the month, per Freddie Mac.

By the numbers:

  • There were 566 home transactions in February 2023, compared to 802 during the same time period in 2022.
  • Available homes for sale increased from 1,510 to 2,020.
  • Median home price is still going up however —$260,000 this year compared to $240,795 in 2022.

Zoom out: Because there's less competition right now, buyers don't have to front as much cash as they did a year ago, Axios' Emily Peck reports.

Between the lines: Buyers who can afford these mortgage rates have more power.

  • They have more options than a year ago, they can take their time searching and they can make offers that aren't wildly above list price.

Yes, but: These rates make buying unaffordable for many.

What they're saying: Metro home pricing finally hit its ceiling in 2022 after several years of spikes, per Les Sulgrove — a local realtor and former president of the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors.

What's next: Mortgage rates dropped nearly a quarter point this month, which means buyer activity will likely pick back up.

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