Low Inventory, High Rates Reflected in Overall Iowa Housing Market


Low inventory and high interest rates proved to be the driving forces in a slower-than-typical Iowa housing market in 2023. Nearly every metric tracked by the Iowa Association of REALTORS® saw a decline this year. These issues weren't unique to Iowa, however, they mimicked the housing market nationwide, as buyers and sellers took their time jumping into the market. 

"The past year saw a number of challenges for the housing market across the country, and Iowa wasn't immune," Shaner Magalhães, IAR president, said. "But we've also seen glimmers of progress in the market. Just this month, inventory increased, a sign that 2024 will prove to be a bit more robust in the Iowa housing market."  

Home sales in Iowa declined 15.2% this year with 32,441 homes sold, compared to the 38,266 sold in 2022. 

Similarly pending sales were down 13.9% with 33,159 homes recorded, compared to the 38,504 pending in 2022. 

As for inventory, there were several months in 2023 that saw declines in active listings, including the typically robust summer market months. In all new listings declined 9.1% with 39,218 homes listed, compared to the 43,133 of 2022. 

Days on the market increased throughout the year. In 2023, homes averaged 40 days on the market, a 25% increase from the 32 day average of 2022. 

Home prices also grew in 2023. The median sales price of a home increased 6.8% last year coming to $220,000 compared to the $206,000 of the year prior. 

View the full 2023 Market Stats report. 

December Housing Stats 

The December housing stats mirrored much of the year, with a few swinging spots, including long-awaited boosts to inventory. 

Sales in December fell 4.2% with 2,308 homes sold, compared to the 2,409 sold last year. Conversely, pending sales jumped 2% to 1,766 homes sold, a slight improvement on the 1,731 sold in December 2022. 

New listings saw a refreshing boost of 11% with 1,814 homes on the market, compared to the 1,634 of December 2022. 

Days on the market continued to increase, this time 10.5% to 42 days, compared to the 38 of last year. 

Median sales price also jumped 13.2% to $215,000 versus the $190,000 of one year ago. 

View Market Stats By 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 17. 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.

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

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