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Market Experiences Seasonal Slowdown

Posted November 07, 2012 in Advice Column, Norwalk

The Norwalk real estate market sales remained stable during the month of October. According to the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors®, there are currently 56 residential homes for sale in Norwalk, up from 53 last month but down significantly compared to 86 a year ago. The median list price of the homes currently listed is $179,900 which is down from $199,900 last month.

During the month of October, there were just five offers accepted. The median list price of those homes was $144,900, and they were only on the market for  a median of 29 days. During October there were 12 new listings in Norwalk with a median price of $149,900.

In October we saw  11 closed sales with a median sale price of $170,000, which was 99 percent of the list price and only spent a median of 67 days on the market.
The Norwalk real estate market in general is experiencing a seasonal slowdown in activity, but the inventory of homes on the market is low. Buyers don’t have much to choose from and will pay almost list price when the right one comes along, provided it is priced correctly. Those homes also sell quickly, as we have seen.

A few reasons why home ownership is still smart
Back in 2003 we thought interest rates were really low. The Freddie Mac interest rate on a 30-year loan in September of 2003 was 6.15 percent. In September of this year, it was 3.40 percent. The principal and interest payment for a $100,000 mortgage at 3.4 percent is only $443.48.

According to MSN and Case Shiller, the return on investment from January 2000 through October of 2012 for the following investments was:
Dow        22.8 percent
S&P        3.3 percent
NASDAQ    -20.9 percent
Real estate    44.6 percent

The average predicted increase in home prices over the next three years by the Home Price Expectation Survey, the Urban Land Institute and the Demand Institute Study is 2.2 percent each year.

Did you know you can use money in your IRA account to purchase investment property? Real estate has proven itself to be a solid investment throughout history. Home prices were artificially driven up by faulty lending practices in the last decade, but the correction has been made. Where would you rather invest your money?

Information provided by Jon Niemeyer, Broker/Owner, EXIT Realty North Star, 1039 Sunset Drive, Norwalk, 515-981-5131,

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