As reported by the regional Multiple Listing Services, a decrease in new homes sales of 11% vs. the 3rd quarter last year has erased the modest gains of the first six months and leaves us with a YTD unit decrease of 4% in unit sales. There have been 4% fewer houses and 3% fewer condos sold through 9/30/15. At the same time, house inventory has dropped by 15% and condo inventory by 7%, contributing to a total of 12% fewer new home units available.
The price breakdown for new house and condo sales follows:
Below $300K = 43% Below $200K = 58%
$300-$400K = 35% $200-$300K = 36%
Above $400K = 22% Above $300K = 6%
Regionally, housing preferences remained stable with 64% of buyers choosing houses. Ranches were the choice of 74% of house buyers with 2-story houses at 19%. New home sales account for about 1 in every 10 home purchases YTD. With sales and inventory levels down across the region, some market segments are posting increases.
Following is a brief summary of activity in each of the major market areas:
CEDAR RAPIDS: While the 4 Quadrants have experienced a 19% unit increase in sales YTD, the Marian/Hiawatha/Robins segment has seen sales fall 21%. They have combined for an overall area decrease of 2% in unit sales. House sales in the 4 Quadrants reflected a 40% increase YTD. Overall inventory in the market is down 18% vs. this time last year.
DUBUQUE: This market continues to struggle in 2015, with sales and inventory levels for both houses and condos showing decreases vs. 2014. Overall sales are down 26% and combined inventories are down 32%. The strength of this segment continues to be homes under $300K.
IOWA CITY: Overall sales in the area dropped by 6% while inventories have increased by 5%. The strongest segments have been house sales in North Liberty, which are up by 19%, and condo sales in Coralville/Tiffin, which have increased by 37% acheter en ligne viagra. The condo inventory in the area market is up 20% vs. last year, while building in Tiffin has left that segment’s inventory with a 69% increase.
QUAD CITIES: An 11% jump in 3rd quarter sales has helped the QCA post the regions’ only major market increase at 5.6%. This increase was made possible by a 47% rise in Scott County condo sales. The overall inventory has dropped by 32% vs. the same time last year, with all of that loss coming in Scott County. New house pricing continues to be an impediment, with the average sale price in Scott County at over $420K so far this year.
The increasing number of pre-sold homes vs. spec homes may be an indicator that the buying public has more economic confidence than lenders and builders at this time. Certainly, less inventory and fewer choices creates difficulty for buyers who need a home more quickly than the time it takes to build a custom home, thereby reducing new home sales.