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Des Moines metro housing market cooling down, but still a good time for buyers, expert says

The Des Moines Area Association of Realtors says the housing market is beginning to cool slightly, and that now might be the time for some people to buy a home.

CLIVE, Iowa — The housing market that was scorching hot during the pandemic is beginning to see a bit of a cool down. 

Ted Weaver, the 2021 president of the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors, said over the last two months is when things started to slow down. 

He said the majority of 2021 "was a very challenging and stressful time for buyers."

Weaver attributed part of the feeding frenzy in the home buying market to a lack of inventory. 

In May 2021, there were a total of 1,600 homes on the market in the metro. He said that was unusual because during the springtime of years past, there's around 4,000 homes on the market in the metro.

Now, there are around 2,300 homes available across all price points. 

The media time for homes being on the market is also increasing as inventory adds up.

In August, the median time for homes on the market was three days. It's now increased to 10 days, and by the end of the year, he expects it to increase to two weeks. 

Weaver believes this makes it a good time for people to jump into the home buying market. 

"So this is a great time," Weaver said. "Interest rates are still low, we're expecting them to increment up over the next year, and so your purchasing power is probably at its all-time high and with those inventory levels going up you've got a much better chance of finding a home."

Miho Sanders, a first-time homebuyer, is glad things are beginning to change a bit. 

She purchased her home in June and said the experience was stressful. 

It took her six months to find a place to live. During that time, there were seven homes she was interested in. Some sold quickly, while others she'd submit an offer and get outbid. 

RELATED: Federal tax credits helping cities like Grinnell build affordable housing

RELATED: Iowa homes sell at a record-breaking pace in May, an average 41 days on market

When she finally found her current home, Sanders said she was not going to let it slip through her fingers. 

"Once I found the house, and it's all competitive, and I have to pay more than necessary," Sanders said. "That was a hard part."  

Sanders noted to get where she's living now, she had to pay $50,000 over list price. With the market cooldown, she hopes buyers do not have to go through what she did. 

Weaver expects the Des Moines Metro housing market to be at a pre-pandemic level around the spring or summer of 2022.

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