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Cedar Valley housing demand strong

WATERLOO, Iowa --- Housing sales in the Cedar Valley dropped slightly during the second quarter, but the amount of time each home spent on the market plunged 60 percent.

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jim.offner@wcfcourier.comFollow @CourierJimO(0) Comments Cedar Falls poised for home-building boom CEDAR FALLS, Iowa --- Empty lots for new homes in Cedar Falls had become a bit of a rarity, but that won't be the case for longRead more WATERLOO, Iowa --- Housing sales in the Cedar Valley dropped slightly during the second quarter, but the amount of time each home spent on the market plunged 60 percent.The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Board of Realtors reported 668 sales in the second quarter compared with 675 during the same months of 2012, a 1 percent decrease.But units stayed on the market a much shorter time --- an average of 42 days compared with 70 days last year."I think the market is much stronger than the sales figure show," said Bob Reisinger, executive vice president of the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Board of Realtors.That is partly the result of low inventory, he saidIn 2005, a "peak year," there were about 1,500 residential listingsThe most recent figure was 800."We have a strong demand and a short supplyThis will continue to keep the sales prices strong," Reisinger said.The average sales price during the second quarter was $141, 898, up from $134,609 a year earlier, a 5 percent increase.The median sales price remained essentially unchanged, at $122,075 in 2013 and $122,500 a year earlier.As of mid-July, Waterloo had 323 residential listings available and Cedar Falls had 117."Waterloo has an adequate supply above $200,000, but below that the number of available existing homes is in short supply..Cedar Falls has a need in all price ranges," he said.Pending sales --- homes with offers but not closed yet --- numbered 155 in Waterloo and 91 in Cedar Falls.New constructionNew construction appears poised to make gains, at least in Cedar Falls, where city officials recently reported hundreds of lots likely would be available in the near future.Reisinger said new construction is mostly in the $250,000 to $300,000 price range.So-called "spec homes," houses built without a buyer under contract, are in short supply."Many builders are building custom homes that they have sold and are not building specs," he said.Sales likely will increase as the summer progresses, said Dick Robert, a broker with Cedar Falls Real Estate Co."I think the numbers are going to stay strong," he said"I think you're going to see for the next quarter probably a 2 to 3 percent increase, simply because of the number of properties under offerThere's more competition."Robert says there will be a "spurt" of new construction but not until next spring."I think you're going to see a huge jump in Cedar Falls next year when (local developer Brent) Dahlstrom and some other developers have some plats goingI'd venture a guess that you're going to see another boom in Cedar Falls perhaps through the winter and early spring."Sam Runyan, president of Runyan Custom Homes in Cedar Falls, said a building boom is already underway.He said his Fieldstone subdivision along Union Road in rural Cedar Falls is almost sold out, with only three lots still available."I think it's extremely active now and has been since early spring; lot sales have jumped," Runyan said.Craig Fairbanks, owner of Craig Fairbanks Homes in Waterloo, said he has noticed an upsurge in building."The activity we've seen in Waterloo is more than we've seen in a number of years," he said.Iowa prices upMeanwhile, home prices across Iowa continued to climb while sales decreased in June.According to the Iowa Association of Realtors June 2013 report, the median sale price was up 6.7 percent, climbing from $137,900 in June 2012 to $147,125 this JuneThe average sale price increased by 5.6 percent, from $160,647 to $169,648 in June 2013."Prices are continuing to rise, further indicating that the inventory levels are having an effect on the marketplace as sellers are able to command more for their homes," said Don Marple, the association's president.Sales decreased by 7.3 percent from June 2012A total of 4,039 homes sold or closed in June 2012, compared with 3,746 homes in June 2013.Inventories are tight across the state, Marple said.Prices climbed from both 2011 and 2012The median sale price of homes in Iowa during the second quarter of 2013 was $138,000 and the average sale price was $160,274The median sale price was $130,500 in the same period of 2012 and $124,950 in 2011Average sale price was $153,359 in 2012 and $142,259 in 2011. if( showSurvey ) { try { _402_Show(); } catch(e){} } .t402-inline-block, .t402-prompt-iframe-container { z-index: 99!important; float:left!important; width:375px!important; }

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