A modest increase in new house sales has been offset by a continued reduction in the number of new condos sold across the region in 2014. Multiple Listing Services report a 2% increase in house sales and a 12% decrease in condo sales, combining for an overall unit sales decrease of 3% versus the same period last year. New home sales across the region accounted for about 1 in every 8 home purchases, up from 1 in 11 for all of 2013. Unit inventory increased 15% above 2013 and is at the highest mid-year level since 2011. Based on the first six month’s sales, the region has 6.9 months of new house inventory and 8.0 months of new condo inventory available. Please see the charts below for local details on sales, inventory and new housing starts.
The price breakdown for new house and condo purchases for the first six months of 2014 reflects the impact of increased building costs, as compared to earlier reports, and is as follows:
Below $300K = 46%
$300-$400K = 35%
Above $400K = 19%
Below $200K = 64%
$200-$300K = 30%
Above $300K = 6%
House purchases accounted for 69% of sales as the continued drop in condo sales left them at 31% of 2014 sales. Ranch style homes continue to be the regional favorite, accounting for 72% of sales and 78% of inventory. These figures reveal that buyer acceptance of other styles, primarily two-story houses, is growing across the region. Ranches were only 45% of the QCA market.
While regional new construction sales were down, Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors continued to out-perform the market; reporting a 16% increase in the number of closed transactions and a 23% increase in sales volume of new homes.
Following is a brief summary of activity in each or the major market areas:
CEDAR RAPIDS: Unlike much of the region, house sales were down and condo sales up, combining for a YTD sales increase of 1 overall unit. Overall unit inventory is up 23% versus 2013.
DUBUQUE: Sales of both houses and condos grew for a combined increase of 18% for the first six months of 2014. House sales $225-$400K made up 64% of sales. Overall unit inventory is up 4%.
IOWA CITY: House sales rose slightly, but condo sales dropped 30%, for an overall decrease of 12%. The North Liberty segment saw the largest sales losses, while the outlying markets in the Iowa City area experienced the greatest gains. Overall, inventory has increased by 15% in 2014.
QUAD CITIES: While house sales increased 10%, condo sales fell by 15%, leaving the market with a 4% overall increase. This market had 52% of all house sales above $400K and 100% of all condo sales above $300K reported across the entire region. Overall, inventory is up 12% compared to the same time last year.
Predictions of stable sales for 2014 appear to be accurate across the region, as the new homes market continues a slow recovery. However, renewed interest from developers and builders in new projects helps raise the interest level of the entire marketplace and should lead to exciting new products to satisfy pent-up consumer demand in the future.