Real Estate Market

Real Estate News from North Iowa: February 2019

National Real Estate Overview

Note: December 2018 data below are the most recent released by the National Association of Realtors.

After two consecutive months of increases, existing-home sales declined in the month of December, according to the National Association of Realtors®. None of the four major U.S. regions saw a gain in sales activity last month.

Total existing-home sales (transactions including single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops) decreased 6.4 percent from November to a seasonally adjusted rate of 4.99 million in December. Sales are now down 10.3 percent from a year ago (5.56 million in December 2017).


National Association of Realtors December 2018 DataNAR's chief economist, Lawrence Yun says current housing numbers are partly a result of higher interest rates during much of 2018. “The housing market is obviously very sensitive to mortgage rates. Softer sales in December reflected consumer search processes and contract signing activity in previous months when mortgage rates were higher than today. Now, with mortgage rates lower, some revival in home sales is expected going into spring.”

The median existing-home price for all housing types in December was $253,600, up 2.9 percent from December 2017 ($246,500). December’s price increase marks the 82nd straight month of year-over-year gains.

Total housing inventory at the end of December decreased to 1.55 million, down from 1.74 million existing homes available for sale in November, but represents an increase from 1.46 million a year ago. Unsold inventory is at a 3.7-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 3.9 last month and up from 3.2 months a year ago.

Properties typically stayed on the market for 46 days in December, up from 42 days in November and 40 days a year ago. Thirty-nine percent of homes sold in December were on the market for less than a month.

Per Freddie Mac data, the average commitment rate for a 30-year, conventional, fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 4.64 percent in December from 4.87 percent in November. The average commitment rate for all of 2017 was 3.99 percent.

First-time buyers were responsible for 32 percent of sales in December, down from last month (33 percent), but the same as a year ago.

The Best Mortgage

Shopping around for a home loan or mortgage will help you to get the best financing deal. A mortgage - whether it's a home purchase, a refinancing, or a home equity loan - is a product, just like a car, so the price and terms may be negotiable. You'll want to compare all the costs involved in obtaining a mortgage. Shopping, comparing, and negotiating may save you thousands of dollars.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a free brochure to help guide you through this process. Download a free copy today.

Take advantage of our experience! Contact us for a list of preferred mortgage professionals in our area -- pros we know will serve your interests well. Our experience can really help when it comes to finding the right mortgage professional and then getting the right mortgage for your situation.

Romantic Valentine's Day Dining In North Iowa!

Valentine’s Day is almost here! What better way to show your sweetheart how much you love them than with a romantic dinner for two! Luckily for you, there are many incredible dining options for you in beautiful North Iowa! We compiled a list of our top choices for Valentine's Day dinner in Mason City and Clear Lake to make planning your romantic evening even easier!


1910 Grille’ | 7 West State Street, Mason City | (641) 422-0015

--Enjoy a fine dining experience with upscale cuisine and tasty cocktails at this beautiful restaurant located within the last hotel that Frank Lloyd Wright designed and built.


GeJo's By The Lake | 12 North 3rd Street, Clear Lake | (641) 357-8288

--Look out over beautiful Clear Lake as you enjoy delicious, hearty Italian fare.


Prime N Wine | 3000 4th Street Southwest, Mason City | (641) 424-8153

--This spot might not offer the most intimate setting, but the large wine list, prime cuts of

meat, and delicious food make it a great spot for a special dinner.


The Anchor Inn | 468 North Shore Drive, Clear Lake | (641) 357-8688

--This Clear Lake staple might seem casual for a romantic dinner but the food never disappoints and the small town feel cannot be beat.


The Quarry & Tapas Bar | 10 South Federal Avenue, Mason City | (641) 421-0075

--This restaurant has incredible service and delicious menu offerings. While it’s full meals are equally delicious, it is a good spot for those that like to try a wide variety of items to share throughout their meal.



Jane Fischer & Associates wishes everyone a very Happy Valentine’s Day! Follow us on Facebook for more holiday ideas and community information throughout the year.

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Contact Information

Jane Fischer
Jane Fischer & Associates | Real Estate Consultants
641-424-HOME (4663)

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