DES MOINES, Iowa — Jen Burkamper's phones have been ringing off the hook. The year 2020 created a whirlwind housing market, and it hasn't let up for the Iowa Realtor.
"I think everybody got tired of being in their houses, cooped up," said Berkamper, president of the Iowa Association of REALTORS® (IAR). "So they started looking at houses. So last fall, we became very busy."
In May, 4,196 homes were sold across Iowa, an increase of 11.3% from the May last year, according to IAR. Homes remained on the market an average of 41 days, which set a record. Burkamper said most years, homes are on the market for about two months.
"We have to be ready the moment a home hits the market," said Burkamper. "We have to go now. There’s no waiting."
Home prices are also on the rise, with the median price increasing $15,000 from May 2020 to May 2021. In May 2020, the median price was $184,000, according to IAR. Last month, it was $199,000.
"It's the perfect storm," said Burkamper. "We have buyers with super low interest rates that they can lock in, and then we have sellers getting great terms and prices for their homes, so it’s just caused this frenzy in the market."
Holly Van Voltenburg is someone who benefitted from the housing "frenzy." The single mom of three boys closed on her house in Sigourney June 8.
"The houses would sell within a month of going up, and I was like, once I find something, I need to get on it!" Van Voltenburg said.
She put in an offer right away, and encourages others to do the same.
"With the low interest rates, now is the time to do it," Van Voltenberg said.