Lately I’ve been thinking about how I can step up my market reports for Iowa City to make them more useful. It seems for them to be really useful to buyers and sellers they need to show home sales more specific to Iowa City neighborhoods. Access to the Iowa City MLS means I have lots of data to pull from and through experience I’ve found he most efficient way to search for homes is by elementary school district. Iowa City has a population of almost 70,000 and has 12* elementary schools. Some elementary schools are bigger than others so logically they also service a bigger area. The Iowa City School District includes schools in Coralville and North Liberty, I obviously haven’t included homes in either of those areas in the chart below. These numbers are purely for homes sold in Iowa City.
Home sales were up by 2% in 2011, as I shared with you in my market report at the beginning of the month. Considering what a slow start we had with home sales down in the first half of the year, the fact that home sales in Iowa City are up at all for the year is very encouraging.
***Clicking on the chart will take you to the full size version for easier reading
Shimek & Lincoln Neighborhoods – Lowest Number of Homes Sold – Highest Prices
There are a couple of takeaways from this chart. The first thing is that the areas where the lowest number of homes sold also achieved the highest prices. When you think about it, that’s in line with economics 101 and the principles of supply and demand. Less homes sold in the Shimek and Lincoln neighborhoods. Since less homes sold it’s also probable there weren’t as many available for sale. Generally speaking, if there is less inventory available for sale the price is likely to be higher. That’s simplifying it a bit of course. Buyers are very discerning in this market. If you’re thinking of selling your home in the Shimek or Lincoln neighborhoods you will still need to prepare your home properly for sale, you just won’t have quite as much competition. By the same token, buyers looking for a home in these neighborhoods should keep in mind there may not be as many choices as in other neighborhoods. In other words, if something you like comes on the market, don’t hang around waiting for something better. You might be in for a long wait!
Where Are the Lowest Priced Homes in Iowa City?
So now let’s look at the other end of the spectrum. Where are the lowest priced homes in Iowa City? The lowest priced homes can be found in the Twain and Grantwood neighborhoods. The data for the Roosevelt neighborhood jumps out at you of course. Here’s the reason for that. Roosevelt is in a neighborhood close to the UI Hospitals. It’s also an area where there are A LOT of condos – a hot commodity for Residents relocating to Iowa City. In the case of the number of homes sold in the Roosevelt neighborhood, the number of condos sold totally skews home prices to the low side as typically condos are less expensive than single family homes. This skewing of the numbers also holds true for the Horn and Mann neighborhoods where there are also a large number of condos. I guess the takeaway for me next time is to split out condos and single family homes into separate posts….
Getting back to my original comments in that last paragraph. The lowest priced homes were in the Grantwood and Twain neighborhoods in 2011. In both neighborhoods home sales were up. If you saw my market reports for Iowa City earlier this month you’ll know that home sales were up for the year in 2011 compared to 2010. As you can see in this chart, despite good data for many neighborhoods, the fact that condo sales were down had a big impact on a few neighborhoods.
That about wraps up my look at housing trends in Iowa City by school district. I’m all about providing as much information as possible to buyers and sellers in Iowa City. If you have any questions for me, please be sure to drop me an email or leave a comment.
*Roosevelt Elementary will close this year and the new Borlaug Elementary will open after completion. You can find more information about that and other school information on the new Iowa City Community School District Website.
Data for this market report pulled from the Iowa City MLS January 24, 2012