Homes sales in the Greater Des Moines area continued to be strong in January, with the sale of 920 residential properties, 20% more than a year ago, new data from the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors shows.

The median sales price of a house sold in January was $238,400, nearly 16% higher than in January 2020 and 2.3% higher than in December, association data shows. Houses sold in an average of 44 days.

The demand for houses continues to shrink the supply of houses for sale in the Greater Des Moines market, which includes Polk, Dallas, Warren, Jasper, Marion, Madison and Guthrie counties. Just 1,957 houses are listed for sale, 16% fewer than the 2,338 listed in December. Typically in January, 3,000 or more houses are listed for sale.

“Typically, January is one of the slowest months of the year,” Ted Weaver, the association’s president, said in a prepared statement. “With the low number of homes on the market, we need more properties in most price ranges.”

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.81% on Thursday, according to Freddie Mac’s weekly survey. The rate is the highest it’s been since mid-November, according to Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist.

“Economic spending has improved, due to the most recent stimulus, but supply chain shortages are causing downstream inflation, leading to higher mortgage rates,” Khater said in a prepared statement. “While there are multiple temporary factors driving up rates, the underlying economic fundamentals point to rates remaining in the low 3 percent range for the year.”

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