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Mike Pezley said many of the people he helped to buy houses in the Quad Cities region last year spent a lot of time in a state of shock. They spent days looking at houses, offered the full list price or offered thousands of dollars over the list price – and still were outbid and did not end up with a home. “It was a tough time for them. You can explain it to them, but it was still a little shocking when they were outbid time after time,” said Mr. Pezley, a Realtor at Re/Max Concepts in Davenport. The 2021 housing market in the Quad Cities was a frenzy for many people. Records were broken. Many potential buyers were squeezed out by high prices. Many sellers sold their homes in just a few days at far above the list price. And 2022 might be a repeat of last year, according to several real estate professionals across the bistate region. Some of those professionals described last year’s housing market with these words: “Unbelievable.” “Feeding frenzy.” “Very crazy.” “Surprisingly strong.” “Really, really busy.” “A different year.” Many of the same real estate leaders said the buying frenzy of 2021 was largely fueled by a pent up demand created by the COVID-19 pandemic. People were stuck in their homes during the pandemic. During that time, they either got their homes fixed up and ready to put on the market or decided they wanted something different in a new home. “We just had a huge demand for homes,” said Caroline Ruhl, CEO of Ruhl&Ruhl Realtors. “People wanted to change how they live.” But Ms. Ruhl added that it was more than just a different home; it was a different type of home. Many homeowners decided they wanted to get away from the open concept floor plans. They also wanted separated home offices for the new work-at-home era. Many also many wanted swimming pools to better enjoy themselves, especially if they worried about being stuck in their homes again during another phase of the pandemic. “They want a lifestyle change,” she said. For many in the real estate industry, last year also brought a change in how they did business amid a pandemic. Sharon Smith, CEO of the Quad City Area Realtors group, said the pandemic showed many people that we are “one event away from having a disruption on our lives, and that goes for real estate.” The pandemic also forced real estate professionals to become more familiar with technology – such as virtual home tours and Zoom meetings as well as finding ways to social distance during traditional home tours, Ms. Smith added. No matter what kind of home tours were presented, 2021 was a big year for sellers and an expensive year for buyers. Ms. Smith called the year a “feeding frenzy,” especially during the summer months. During that time, it was not uncommon for sellers to receive 15 offers on their home, and some homes sold in just a couple of days after hitting the market, she added. Ruhl&Ruhl officials provided these 2021 company statistics:
- Average home price in the Iowa Quad Cities: $239,000 (up 6% from 2020); average price in the Illinois Quad Cities: $151,800 (also up 6%).
- Average home price in the Clinton/Camanche, Iowa, and Fulton, Illinois, area: $126,600 (up 9% from 2020).
- Average home price in Muscatine/Wilton, Iowa, area: $174,100 (up 5%).
- Homes sold in 2021: 2,904 in Iowa Quad Cities (up 7% from 2020); 2,734 in Illinois Quad Cities (up 9%).