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 percent in 2021 over 2020 according to the Housing Trends by the Iowa Association of REALTORS® (IAR). 

A historical high of 49,157 Iowa homes sold in 2021. In comparison, 46,713 properties sold in 2020. In 8 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 7 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 percent decrease from 2020 and almost 40 percent 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. 

View the statewide market report for December and Year-End 2021.

“2021 hit some all-time highs in real estate despite a low number of homes on the market in most of our communities. 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,“ stated IAR President Byron Menke. 

Top Place to Live

Iowa continues to get lots of national love and 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.  


December Housing Stats

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 percent to $194,900 for December 2020. 

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

View the statewide market report for December and Year-End 2021.


Housing Market Reports for December based on an Iowa County


View Reports on Single-family homes per county
View Reports on Townhouse-Condos per county. 

The information used to create the IAR December and Year-End Housing Trends Report was current as of January 15. The information is subject to change due to the dynamic nature of the IAR’s housing statistics system, which is based on data from the local participating MLS (multiple listing service) systems. 

The term Realtor® is a registered trademark, which identifies real estate professionals who follow a strict Code of Ethics as members of the National Association of REALTORS®.

The Iowa Association of Realtors® is the state’s largest real estate professional organization representing over 8,000 members and affiliates. The IAR releases a Housing Trends Report each month.

For more information, please contact Mark Gavin, Director of Communications at the Iowa Association of REALTORS® - mark@iowarealtors.com or 515-309-9345.

Sources: National Association of REALTORS®, Iowa Association of REALTORS®, Data from Multiple Listing Services in Iowa, and ShowingTime.




Related Articles

Buyer Agreement: What You Need To Know

February 12, 2024

AI is Here, What you Need to Know.

September 21, 2023

Few Bright Spots Shine in August Housing Market

September 21, 2023