Due to tremendous buyer demand for homes and limited inventory, home values have significantly increased. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), the rate of appreciation in the metro areas served by Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors increased over the past five years between 18.76% and 22.6%, as shown in the the chart below.

Even more impressive is the increase in the prior 12 months which ranges from 5.99% in Iowa City to 9.08% in Cedar Rapids, according to a Ruhl & Ruhl release. “FHFA data always runs a quarter behind, so this increase was only through June of 2021. Based on extremely strong 3rd quarter sales, we anticipate values will continue to appreciate, albeit at a slower pace, through the end of this year and likely through 2022,” the company said.

A sold sign sits in front of a house in Brighton, N.Y. The coronavirus pandemic helped shape the housing market by influencing everything from the direction of mortgage rates to the inventory of homes on the market to the types of homes in demand and the desired locations. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey, File)

“This increase in home values makes now a great time for sellers to sell,” Ruhl said, noting Quad Cities home values have jumped nearly 18.8 percent in five years. “It’s also a good time to unlock the equity in a home with a cash out refinance that can be used for many purposes such as home improvements, buying an investment property, paying off debt, etc. “

“During the second quarter, home prices nationally peaked in June with an 18.8% growth rate, compared to a year ago,” said Lynn Fischer, Deputy Director of FHFA’s Division of Research and Statistics. The continuing appreciation in home prices and likely increase in mortgage rates will make now the best time to buy a new home before monthly payments increase. Nationally, housing prices appreciated 47.6 percent in the past five years.

Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)Percent Change in House Prices
 1 Year5 Year
Cedar Rapids, IA+ 9.08%+ 22.60%
Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL+ 7.37%+ 18.76%
Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA+ 8.59%+ 25.17%
Dubuque, IA+ 6.72%+ 19.70%
Iowa City, IA+ 5.99%+ 18.82%
USA+ 17.42%+ 47.66%

This information is courtesy of the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) for the second quarter of 2021. FHFA stats always run one quarter behind. Their full report is available at www.fhfa.gov. 

“We have continued to experience sizable gains across our region in home values over the last year,” said Caroline Ruhl, CEO, Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors. “To get a real sense of your local neighborhood real estate market, we suggest you meet with a Ruhl & Ruhl Realtor who can give you a summary of activity in your neighborhood.”

According to the real estate website Zillow, the current average U.S. home price is $308,220, compared to $202,000 in early 2016. Housing prices are forecast to continue increasing, to an average of $355,000 in September 2022.

According to Ruhl & Ruhl, the average Iowa Quad-Cities home in September 2021 sold for $247,000, while the average sale price in the Illinois Quad-Cities was $149,000. For more information, visit the company’s Facts & Trends.