In 2013, the number of houses sold in Newton reached levels not seen in the past five years.
According to statistics sent out by the Newton Board of Realtors, 180 residential properties sold in 2013 reached 180, for an average price of $98,986. In 2012, 153 houses were sold for an average price of $84,083.
Newton Board of Realtors President Les Morgan said this increase is most likely due to a nationwide recovery of housing market.
“I think it’s coming back some,” Morgan said. “I think it’s a trend overall. Housing’s on its way back.”
The number of houses sold is an 8.9 percent increase from 2009, which saw a sale of 164 houses at an average price of $98,248. Even though this increase is part of a national trend, Morgan said not to discredit the increase.
“It’s good news for everybody in Newton, and it’s good news for everybody in Iowa and the nation, really,” Morgan said. “We’re all kind of economically driven as far as the economy’s doing, but as far as housing I think it’s starting to come back a little bit.”
Morgan said the housing market in Newton isn’t back to where it can be and local efforts to revitalize will play an essential role in coming years.
“I think the City of Newton’s comprehensive plan to work on housing and so forth, which I think there’s a lot of good ideas in that. I think that may help us too,” Morgan said. “I think, as the economy improves, you’ll see more demand for housing, and that’s kind of how it goes — hand-in-hand.”
City of Newton’s Director of Finance and Development Brian Friedman said no single action or plan can be linked to the increase, but efforts all throughout the community.
“I wouldn’t point to a specific, direct relationship between the comprehensive plan and improved housing numbers, but in the bigger picture I think that the efforts behind the comprehensive plan, namely citizens getting together to really focus on the future of this community and come up with ideas and a positive energy about our community’s future,” Friedman said. “I think that has played a role and has gone hand-in-hand in an improved local economy.”
The Iowa Board of Realtors reported the State’s average sale price for residential properties as $168,647 compared to Newton’s $98,986. Morgan said he’d like to see Newton’s average sale price as high as they could go and hopefully above $100,000.
“Things are different than they were 10 years ago,” Morgan said.
Friedman said metro housing markets play a role in statewide statistics and their are better values to be found in Newton.
Morgan said the market is ideal for purchasing a house because of low interest rates at 4 to 4.5 percent.
“I think if somebody’s starting to think about buying a house or buying up, I think now’s a really great time to do it,” Morgan said.
Staff writer Dave Hon may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 425, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.