The average price of a single-family home sold last month rose in Cedar Rapids and the state, but slipped in Iowa City when compared with February 2012.
The Cedar Rapids Area Association of Realtors reported the average home selling price was $161,086 in February, up 6.4 percent from $151,464 in the same month of 2012. The organization said 219 homes were sold last month, up 20.3 percent from 182 homes sold in February 2012.
In Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty, the average sale price slipped 7.4 percent to $181,001 last month, from $195,534 in February 2012, according to the Iowa City Area Association of Realtors. A total of 103 homes were sold in February, up 17 percent from 88 in the same month a year ago.
Statewide, the average home sale price rose 11 percent in February to $141,326 from $127,264 in February 2012, according to the Iowa Association of Realtors.
Home sales across Iowa dropped 2.9 percent from last year at this time with 55 more homes sold in February 2012 than last month. The state association said 1,851 homes were sold in February 2013, down from 1,906 homes sold in February 2012.
“Although sales were down slightly in February, overall, year-to-date sales in 2013 are still up 6.7 percent compared with the number of sales for the first two months of 2012,” said Don Marple, president of the Iowa Association of Realtors.
Marple said the numerous winter storms this year and low inventory of homes for sale may be factors in the decline.
“When it’s snowy and the roads are slick, people often stay home and wait for warmer weather to go house hunting,” Marple said.
“Inventory is very low right now across the state. We need more homes on the market to meet the buyers’ demand.”
Nationwide, housing starts rose in February and permits for construction climbed to their highest level since 2008, signaling the housing market recovery is gathering steam.
The U.S. Commerce Department said on Tuesday that housing starts rose 0.8 percent last month to a 917,000-unit annual rate. Permits for future construction jumped 4.6 percent, to a 946,000-unit rate, the quickest since June 2008.
Employers added 48,000 construction jobs in February, the most since before the recession.