The Big Picture of Des Moines Real Estate

The 3rd quarter of 2015 is coming to an end and it is time to see what this last quarter looks like and evaluate any trends that have developed. Trend analysis is defined as the practice of collecting information and spotting a pattern. After personally collecting Des Moines real estate sales data since 2007, some trends can become predictable. 2015 has been a year unlike any that most real estate agents, homebuyers or sellers have ever experienced.

The 3rd quarter of 2015 picked up where the end of the 2nd quarter left off with home inventory slightly on the increase. The number of homes for sale is still 5% behind 2014 levels and 11% behind 2013. The pace of sales as measured by Months of Inventory shows that just under 4 months of homes are currently available for sale compared to just under 5 months just a short year ago. Even with the limited inventory, homebuyers continued to be out in record numbers during the past three months. Home sales are pushing upwards of 20% ahead of the previous year and at an average of 30 days on market for sellers from listing to offer acceptance.

The basics of economics states that if demand is up and supply is down, home prices would be on the rise. In fact, the average sale price during the 3rd quarter of this year is a record $203,000. The YTD average sale price is just over $191,000 solidifying 2015 as the year of the home price comeback.

As of September 30th, there were over 9,500 homes sold which are more than 1,500 sales ahead of last year. Couple that with over 2,200 homes in Pending status waiting to close and it all points to a projection of ending 2015 with over 12,000 total homes sold, a number we haven’t seen in over 10 years.

So where do we go from here? Based on current activity, expect the 4th quarter of 2015 to remain active much longer into the fall than previous years. It is typical that the number of homes for sale begins to decline as the year winds down, but with such low inventory to begin with and the buyers that are still actively buying in the market, this will continue to fuel activity and I expect the year to end strong. If I owned a moving company, I would be sure to keep workers on hand through the end of the year.

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