2021 sets new records in Iowa real estate

The 2021 real estate market in Iowa mirrored what much of the country experienced: Record levels of homes sold, a record-breaking pace of home sales, and a historically low number of homes on the market for the majority of the year. Home sales in Iowa grew 5.2% in 2021 over 2020, according to the Housing Trends report from the Iowa Association of Realtors (IAR).

An historical high of 49,157 Iowa homes sold in 2021. In comparison, 46,713 properties sold in 2020. In eight out of the 12 months, there was an increase of homes sold when compared to the same month in 2020. Looking back to 2019, before the pandemic, total sales for the year amounted to 42,208.

Properties sold at a blistering pace for much of the year. In May, the average of 41 days on market set a new record. However, for the next seven months, the days on market came in at less than 40 days. The average for 2021 was 38 days on market. That is a 35% decrease from 2020 and a nearly 40% decrease from 2019.

The median price for 2021 calculated to $195,000. In 2020, the median sales price was $180,000. In 2019, the median price came in at $168,500.

“2021 hit some all-time highs in real estate despite a low number of homes on the market in most of our communities,” IAR president Byron Menke said. “Low mortgage rates and a strong buyer demand help fuel the record sales in 2021. We hope to see new construction costs stabilize and an increase in the number of new homes built in our state in 2022. National economists anticipate another strong year in 2022, however, conditions of a limited supply of homes and projected increase in interest rates may temper things a bit.”

Sales dipped slightly by only 1.1% in December compared to December 2020.

4,008 homes sold in December 2021 compared to 4,053 sales in December 2020. The median sales price increased by 7.1% to $194,900 for December 2020.

Homes sold very quickly in December, with an average of 39 days on the market.

Iowa continues to get national attention for its overall low cost of living, a great place to start a business and raise a family. Various Iowa cities continue to land in the best places to live lists. Waukee and Urbandale were in Money magazine’s 50 Best Places to Live in 2021-2022.  Ames, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Des Moines all made Livability’s Top 100 Best Places to Live.