Des Moines Housing Market Update: 2024 Q1

What’s up with Des Moines real estate?

Here in Des Moines and the surrounding areas, we’re definitely seeing signs that the real estate market
is slowing in almost all price ranges. And, for buyers, it’s about time, right?

First, check out some past market updates: 1st Quarter of 20232023 Year in Review

From the numbers, here are the trends I see today:

  • The first quarters in 2023 and 2024 are very similar.
  • Just over 13,000 homes were sold in 2023. This is much slower than the last 8+ years. We’re on track to be just under that number for 2024.
  • Anything below $250,000 is still a strong seller’s market. In other words, our starter inventory is still lacking. Expect to be competing if you’re looking for a home at that price point.
  • In our moderate price points, $250,000-$500,000, we’re either looking at a balanced market or a buyer’s market.
  • The average price on sold properties dropped again in the first quarter of 2024.

I did find the amount of active inventory in the moderate price range of $250,000 – $500,000 to be surprising. However, the other trends do make sense to me. With interest rates hovering at double the rate two years ago, we continue to see that homeowners who don’t HAVE to move and have a phenomenal interest rate are choosing to stay put. This impacts starter inventory. However, for my fellow “number” people, let’s look at the homes sold in the first quarters of 2023 and 2024.

The chart below shows where we have been so far in 2024 (active and pending snapshots are as of 01-April-2024). As always, whether we have a seller’s market (less than three months of inventory available), a balanced market (three to six months of inventory available), or a buyer’s market (more than six months of inventory available) varies widely based on the price point. You can see the seller’s
market, balanced market, and buyer’s market price points below.

What's Coming in 2024?

It's shaping up to be an "interesting" year.

Changes to the REALTOR® profession

The REALTOR® profession overall will be changing. If you’ve seen mention of home prices dropping due to commission structure changing in the news, and you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Jessica, Narda, or me for up-to-date information. By the way, this applies even if you’re not looking to buy or sell any time soon! Want to read more about the potential changes and what we know so far? You can check out some of our thoughts here:

Will Houses Continue to Sell?

Between higher interest rates and uneven inventory, we’re going to see vastly different experiences for our clients based on their price point within their preferred location.

Much like in 2023, while some houses DO sell within 24-48 hours of hitting the market, many do not. Buyers are still extremely choosy before they write an offer. If they are paying top dollar, and getting a mortgage with a higher interest rate, they don’t want to purchase a home that doesn’t meet ALL their needs, most of their wants, and knock their socks off.

The Bottom Line

Considering a move? If you have a REALTOR®, that’s great.  If you don’t, the Home Sweet Des Moines team (brokered by Realty ONE Group Impact) is ready to help. Contact us! We’d love to help.

And even if you’re not moving, feel free to say hi. We love all our clients, past, present, and future!


Licensed in the state of Iowa. Home Sweet Des Moines - Realty ONE Group Impact

* Sales prices in thousands.  This data includes all residential properties in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors (DMAAR).  For Sale By Owner homes and lot listings may not be included.   
* Months of inventory determined by the last three months of sales numbers.

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