Iowa – Experts Watching This Housing Market Like a Hawk
Slow. That’s the best word to describe Iowa’s emergence from the Great Recession. The Hawkeye State added more than 14,000 jobs during 2012 – but it still has 34,000 jobs to go before it can be considered all caught up. As a result, real estate experts are watching Iowa’s housing market like a “hawk”!
So far, though, they like the progress that they’re seeing!
By the end of 2012, the homes for sale in Iowa were fetching more money than they were in 2011 – nearly 12% more, to be exact! By the time the clock struck 12 on New Year’s Eve, the median sale price here was $125,000. And, nearly 4,000 more homes were actually sold around the state, so homeowners and realtors around Iowa had plenty of reasons to smile. In fact, the number of home sales and the home prices were both at their highest levels since real estate experts started keeping statewide records back in 2005!
The only thing that went down over the course of 2012 was the inventory. However, realtors around Iowa don’t seem too concerned by it. That’s because the statewide inventory was right around 6 months as the year came to a close – and that’s the “magic number” that real estate experts consider to be perfectly balanced. So, even if the inventory keeps dropping, it’s not a bad thing. Instead, Iowa’s housing market will officially become a sellers’ market, which means that the demand will outweigh the supply, and prices will go up as a result.
So, how do things break down at a more local level?
Des Moines was named one of the “Improving Housing Markets” by the National Association of Home Builders in January 2013, thanks to its number of housing permits, jobs market, and home prices.
In Cedar Rapids, the number of home sales and the average selling price both went up in 2012. By the end of the year, the average price was close to $145,000. That’s $5,000 more than it was the year before.
In North Liberty, new construction is the name of the game. More than 1,000 single-family homes and multifamily units are scheduled to go up over the next several years. In this area, even Mother Nature is on recovery’s side! Thanks to an extra-warm 2012, builders had even more time to roll up their sleeves and get to work. As a result, there will be even more new homes for sale around Iowa in 2013.
So, with any luck, that slow progress will start to speed up!
Living in Iowa
Iowa has long been called the “American Heartland” because the state represents true American culture with its mix of manufacturing, farming and combination of large, bustling cities and iconic small towns.
Located in the Midwest, settlers created an agriculture-based economy here back in the early 19th century after the Louisiana Purchase, originally giving Iowa the nickname the “Food Capital of the World.”
Before you head off to Iowa, let’s go over some of the fast facts:
- What is the population of Iowa?
- The population of Iowa is 3,074,186
- What is the capital of Iowa?
- The capital of Iowa is Des Moines
- What is the largest city in Iowa?
- The largest city is Des Moines
If you enjoy the change in seasons, you will like Iowa! The winters here are often harsh with plenty of snowfall, but the summers are known for being quite hot and humid – so you’ll get the best of both worlds.
While Iowa is very well-known for its contribution to the Corn Belt with its agricultural economy, the state has become less dependent on farming since the 1980s. Since the second half of the 20th century, Iowa’s economy has included biotechnology, manufacturing, finance, and insurance services. It also relies on government services. This economic transition has also affected the population of Iowa. In fact, the number of residents has increased so rapidly over the years that the state now has a predominantly urban population!
If you enjoy the outdoors, Iowa is the place to be. From bird watching, hiking, camping and bicycling in the summers, to snowshoeing, ice fishing, and cross country skiing in the winter, there is something exciting for everyone in Iowa.
If you are interested in history and exploration, the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad & Museum features more than 9,000 square feet of exhibits and libraries devoted to the state’s railway history. You can even explore the Des Moines River Valley firsthand from a cool 1920s locomotive.
If you enjoy scientific exhibits, documentaries and the thrill of an IMAX Dome Theater, the Science Center of Iowa is the place to be. Located in downtown Des Moines, it is credited with being one of the first interactive science museums in the world – the perfect place for your kids to learn all kinds of new things!