AMES — The report on May sales from the Iowa Association of Realtors confirms the housing market remains hot.
Jen Burkamper of Ames is the group’s president. “I’ve been doing this for 21 years and I have not seen a market this crazy,” Burkamper says.
May continued what has been a strong housing market across the state. “Sales were up 11 percent for May, and prices were up another eight-point-two percent on single-family homes. Really a seller is in the best position that I have ever seen them in,” Burkamper says.
Houses across the state were selling faster than usual, spending an average of 41 days on the market, which is 34-percent fewer than during May of last year. Interest rates have continued to stay low and she says an increase would be the one thing that could cool off the market.
“That’ll slow things down and honestly we need it to. We need it to slow down, it is too crazy right now. It is frustrating for buyers, and some buyers are getting tired of the hoops they have to jump through to get that low interest rate,” according to Burkamper. “So as interest rates rise, they may decide to do something different. They may rent for a little bit, they may be willing to be not as urgent as they have been the last couple of months.”
Buyers are getting into bidding wars and having to pay more for homes. Burkemper says with low interest rates that is not a concern for some buyers. “As long as you are going to be there more long-term, you aren’t going to have a problem with that. But, if you are going to be there short-term — you may want to wait to buy a home,” she says.
Burkamper says one thing that has changed is the ability to get out and see homes. “We are pretty much all in-person now. Unless they are out of state,” Burkamper says. “Unless they are out of state. If they can’t be here physically, then we are doing a lot of facetime, zoom showings, because homes are selling so quickly, we can’t wait for them to come here.” The median price for a home was $199,000 this May– compared to $184,000 one year ago.