The 2017 Year in Review for Residential Real Estate

2017 ended very strong for residential real estate in Des Moines. With a growing local and national economy, Des Moines home sales easily surpassed 2016 in closed units, but the real story is in three areas of the market. Home Prices, For Sale Inventory, and the ratio of New Homes compared to Resale in our market.

Home Prices

The median sale price of homes sold rose by 5% fueled by a lack of home inventory in the lowest price ranges and the continuance of low mortgage interest rates. Overall, home values in the Des Moines market rose by 4% in 2018.

For Sale Inventory

2017 began with the lowest number of homes on the market with just over 2,900 listings. That number headed downward for the first four months of the year until early May when home sellers began in earnest putting their homes on the market. This trend has continued ever since with levels beating year-over-year numbers all the way through December. This welcome inventory gave home buyers a respite from having to make on the spot buying decisions after July 1st as the market eased up for the summer months.

New Construction vs Resale

The biggest news of the past year is the increase in New Construction inventory. In 2016 New Construction listings averaged 1/3 of all properties for sale in the Des Moines MLS. In 2017, that number rose to 37%. As a result of this large amount of new homes being added to our inventory, it became apparent that future reporting would benefit from splitting the New Construction homes from Resale and this will allow for a more accurate measurement of market activity in these two distinct categories.

Full Year Recap of key data for 2017

  • $275,000 Median List Price
  • $186,260 Median Sale Price
  • 14,603 Homes Sold (as of December 31st)
  • 66 Days on Market on Average
  • 2.8 Months of Inventory on Average

The entire breakdown of 2017 Des Moines real estate sales and analysis can be read here.

A look at things to come for 2018

Watch for more detailed reports this year with better analysis of resale properties, months of inventory, days on market and more. Also in the works is a brand new statistics only website for easy research of historical data, localized trends and more!

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