Home sales in the Greater Des Moines area continued to be robust in March, with 1,256 residential properties sold, 19.5% more than a year ago, Des Moines Area Association of Realtors data shows.

 

In February, 851 houses were sold.

 

The median sale price of a house sold in March in the Des Moines area was $234,100, nearly 9% higher than a year ago.

Houses sold in an average of 47 days; a year ago, houses sold in an average of 68 days.

 

Just 1,786 houses are on the market, 49% fewer than were available a year ago, according to association data. Typically, 3,000 or more houses are listed for sale in March in the Greater Des Moines market, which includes Polk, Dallas, Warren, Jasper, Marion, Madison and Guthrie counties.

 

“Early indications in April show signs of more properties coming on the market,” Ted Weaver, the association’s president, said in a prepared statement. “We hope as the weather improves, construction on new homes will continue to ramp up and potential sellers will put their properties up for sale to meet the buyer demand.”

 

Demand for houses will likely stay strong as long as interest rates for mortgages remain low. Freddie Mac, the federally chartered mortgage investor, reported today that mortgage rates fell for a second straight week. The 30-year fixed-rate average was 3.04%, down from last week’s average of 3.13%.

 

“The economy is improving on the demand side and on the supply side, a variety of goods and materials remain scarce,” Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, said in a prepared statement. “As a result of this imbalance, pricing pressures are building and causing inflation to rise. Despite the pause in mortgage rates recently, we expect them to increase modestly for the remainder of this year.”