Milestones in Des Moines Residential Real Estate

With nine months under our belt, 2016 is already remembered as a year of records. Little did we know in 2015 that the pace of the market then was just a preview of things to come. 2016 started off with just over 3,200 homes for sale and there was a very brief feeling that this was going to be the year that home inventory returned to normal levels. A mild winter brought home buyers out in early February and the race was on.

By the March 1st, there were only 2,900 homes for sale and pending sales were quickly on the rise. The tipping point occurred mid April, when the number of pending sales rose above the for sale inventory. This caused our months of inventory to dip below two months.

This pace continued all the way into mid-June and even then, home buyers searching under the $250,000 price range found the market frustrating with so few homes available. New construction was able to help fill the voids above that price point, but for many, especially first time home buyers, this “Great Real Estate Market” was anything but great.

If there were so few homes for sale, surely the number of closings would be down. As it turned out, more and more homes were finally coming on the market. The only problem is that the buyer demand was still so strong that we were never able to begin building up inventory. It was survival of the fastest for home buyers.

This activity of 24-hour sales also impacted values. In mid-January, the average sale price of a home was just under $194,000 and the median days on market hovered around the 80-day mark. The height of the market hit in the month of May when we had a record 3,426 homes in pending status.

So here we are, the end of September. We continue to remain deep in a Sellers Market with 3.2 months of inventory. The number of homes for sale is right at 3,400 and the average list price is $279,000. 2,300 homes are in pending status waiting to close. So far this year, we are averaging 30 homes coming on the market per day with 44 going under contract. The average sale price of a home is $205,500 and has been on the market 64 days. We surpassed 10,000 sales earlier than ever before and are on track to close 14,000 transactions by years’ end.

Les Sulgrove is a Broker with VIA Group REALTORS and is a 25-year veteran selling real estate in Des Moines. Follow Les on Twitter @lessulgrove or on Facebook at You can also view this data along with more real estate market statistics at