Home sale prices rise in Iowa, Cedar Rapids, Iowa City

Despite hikes, inventories going down

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Home prices rose last month in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and the state of Iowa as low mortgage rates continued to draw buyers into the market.

The average price of a Cedar Rapids home rose 4.4 percent to $164,465 in November, from $157,491 in November 2011, according to the Cedar Rapids Area Association of Realtors. The number of homes sold slipped 0.7 percent from 294 in November 2011 to 292 last month.

In Iowa City, Coralville and Johnson County, the average home sale price edged up 0.14 percent to $180,609 in November from $180,354 in the same month last year, according to the Iowa City Area Association of Realtors. Home sales rose 29.5 percent to 180 in November from 139 in November 2011.

The Iowa Association of Realtors reported the statewide number of home sales in November increased by 204, or 8.2 percent, to 2,683 in November from 2,479 homes sold in the same month of 2011. Twenty-six of the 44 local Realtor boards across Iowa reported increases in the number of home sales.

Prices also were up last month. The average sale price of an Iowa home was $148,305 in November, up $11,049, or 8 percent, from $137,256 in November 2011. Thirty-two local boards showed increases in average sale price.

In a positive sign for the housing market, inventory also declined in November. The number of active residential listings at the end of November was 19,084, which includes 3,195 new active residential listings.

This reflects an 11 percent decrease since November 2011 when there were 21,431 residential listings.

Don Marple, president of the Iowa Association of Realtors, said the inventory of homes available for sale has continued to slowly decline.

"Prices confirm this trend of a drop in inventory as median prices have increased more than 5 percent from this time last year," Marple said. "Overall statewide, we are in a balanced buyer and seller marketplace."

The average number of days homes were listed on the market before being sold in November was 98 days, down 8 days or 7.5 percent from November 2011 when the average was 106 days. Twenty-seven local boards reported decreased days on the market before sale.

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