It’s a regular question that I’m asked, but there is definitely heightened interest this year.  We all see the “sold” signs going up as fast as the “for sale” sign goes in the yard and wonder what’s going on.  Numbers and trends help me evaluate the real estate market so I can better answer your questions and prepare you for success.

Multiple Listing Systems (MLS) are the databases of homes for sale through local real estate brokerages.  Looking at both the Iowa City MLS and the Cedar Rapids MLS shows that, while there are some common trends, the markets are somewhat different.

At the end of July 2021, the Iowa City market had 968 homes for sale, compared to 1279 homes for sale during the same time in 2020.  It is a smaller market than Cedar Rapids, but has had more homes for sale over the past year.  In July 2021, the Cedar Rapids market had just 650 homes for sale.

While both markets are experiencing a “seller’s market” (less than 5 months of inventory where there are more buyers than there are homes for sale), over the past year Iowa City has had times where it was at or near a balanced market and has never been below 2 months of inventory.

In contrast, the Cedar Rapids market over the past year has not had more than a 2 month supply of inventory and in June dropped below 1 month of inventory!

What’s causing the difference?  One significant difference is the 2020 derecho.  Although, even earlier in the year, the months of inventory were lower in the Cedar Rapids/Marion area.  So while homeowners still waiting for derecho repairs isn’t the only factor, it certainly has been a factor in 2021.

We’ve talked before that another major issue in 2021 has been the rapid increase in costs for materials, which has slowed new construction. Lack of skilled and unskilled labor has been an ongoing issue for builders.

Both the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids home markets were negatively impacted by the flood of 2008, which took out a significant amount of affordable homes.  We still haven’t caught up with replacement homes.

That said, we continue to help buyers and sellers successfully find the home of their dreams.  More than ever, a real estate professional can help you navigate whatever market obstacles are presented.  It’s never too early to speak with your trusted real estate advisor.  We are here to help you at whatever stage you find yourself: first-time home buyer, moving-up, downsizing, relocating, investing and building wealth.  Or you may just need some advice on a matter that involves your home: adequate insurance value, home improvements, vendor/contractor recommendations, etc.

Whatever your questions or needs regarding real estate, never hesitate to contact the Brockette Homes team at Ruhl&Ruhl REALTORS!