As the end of November arrives, the Des Moines real estate market prepares for its annual brief slumber while most home buyers and sellers turn their attention to the upcoming holidays and family gatherings.
To get an idea of where Des Moines sales and listing activity will be by years end, let’s look at where the real estate market is as of November 26th, 2017.
Year to date homes for sale inventory sits at 3,459 homes on the market. That is a little over 3% more homes for sale than the same time last year. The number of homes under contract waiting to close is 1,845 which is 4% behind the same time last year. Because of strong sales earlier in the year, our closed sale count is currently at 13,313 homes sold coming in 5% ahead of this time last year.
Real estate sales never completely turn off in our market as there are always homes being listed for sale, going under contract and closing during the final month of the year. In December of 2016, 14 homes per day were entering the market while 24 homes were going under contract. Over 1,100 homes closed in December of last year meaning that as many as 2,000 families were moving during the holiday season.
With this history and roughly one month of market activity remaining I can confidently predict that Des Moines home sales will easily surpass 2016 closing ending somewhere in the range of 14,500 property sales by December 31st. The number of homes for sale and properties in pending status will start 2018 with a larger listing count of around 3,100 homes for sale and almost half of that number in pending sales waiting to close.
2018 will arrive just barely in a balanced market with an estimated 4.2 months of inventory which could be the only opportunity all year long for buyers enjoy an “adequate” amount of homes to choose from before the spring market awakens and we return to a seller’s market. Just what date that will be will depend on the type of winter we have. Last year Realtors began placing signs in yards and putting buyers into their cars around the second week of January compared to the 5th week of January in 2016 & 2015 and all the way into week 11 of 2014 (March 11th).
With a strong economy forecasted for 2018, there are no signs of a downturn in the real estate economy and even with the predicted rise in home mortgage interest rates, home buyers will continue to drive market demand upwards raising home values again. 2018 could be the year that home sellers begin to come back and if we see a sizeable rise in home for sale inventory, we could be on track for another record setting year.