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Thursday Afternoon News, Jan 17

Home Sales Rise in Iowa and Plymouth County

(Le Mars) -- A recent report shows an increase in the number of homes being sold in Iowa, as  well as the average value of homes has increased.  The average sale price for a home in 2012 was $134,000 which equates to an 11.6 percent increase over the previous year.  Iowa saw 34,860 homes sold in 2012 compared to 31,000 the year before.  Shane Sitzmann, a Le Mars realtor and also chairman of the Plymouth County Multiple Listings Association, an organization that comprises of about 40 members of brokers and agents, says similar trends were noted in Plymouth County.

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Sitzmann contributes the lower interest rates as a main factor in the increase of home sales.

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Sitzmann says the increase in local employment opportunities has definitely helped the local housing picture.  He says the local housing market acts much like a dominoes.

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The real estate agent says the market is seeing an artificial increase due to the shortage of homes currently available.


Democrats Want To Gage How Much Public Support For Education

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Democratic lawmakers say they want to determine a general level of state support for schools before they take up Gov. Terry Branstad's education reform plan.
That could lead to a confrontation with the governor because Branstad maintains he won't discuss that funding until he gets approval for his plan to boost starting teacher salaries and make
other reforms.
On Thursday, Senate Democrats proposed a measure that would increase state aid to school district by 4 percent, or $134 million, for the school year starting in September.

 

Midwest Bankers Survey Suggests Continued Growth

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A new survey of rural bankers suggests that growth in farmland prices, cash rents and farm equipment sales remain strong despite the continuing threat of drought in some
Midwestern and northern Plains states.
A report on the Rural Mainstreet Index released Thursday says the index hit 55.6 in January, down from 60.6 in December. It is the index's fourth straight month above growth neutral.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the region's rural economy is still expanding at a moderate pace and that farm communities "appear to have shed the negative impacts of the 2012
drought."
The index ranges from 0 to 100, with 50 representing growth neutral. It's based on a survey of rural bankers in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North
Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.



 

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