In March, pending home sales in the Des Moines-area, a city with about a half-million residents, jumped 34 percent compared to the the same period a year earlier. The rebound was fueled by buyers racing to take advantage of the tax credit that expires April 30, reports The Des Moines Register.
Experts say that the looming tax credit deadline coupled with the season's first respite from the winter weather paved the way for the recent sales spike.
"The combination of the hard winter breaking and the last days of the home-buyer stimulus has given the spring market a shot in the arm," Joanne Mangold, president of the Des Moines Area Association of Realtors told The Register.
In March, 1,046 sales were pending in Des Moines, which accounted for the 34 percent bump from the year earlier and a 41 percent climb from February. Last month, 596 homes homes were sold, a 13 percent increase from March of last year and 49 percent jump from the previous month.
Despite the month's rally, the average home sales price dipped $5,745 in March from $147,329 to $141,584 year-over-year, a 3.9 percent decrease. The average sales price was $9,950 less than in February of this year, a 6.6 percent drop.
First-time home-buyers are eligible for a tax credit up to $8,000, some existing homeowners can qualify for $6,500 in tax credits, and there are other tax loopholes that made buying a home before the credit expired advantageous.