Future Looking Up For Wichita Home Sales

By: Lily Wu - Email
By: Lily Wu - Email

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Industry professionals say this is the right time to buy, given historically low interest rates and the supply of homes in the market.

"This is a fantastic time to buy because home values have been stagnant or declining just a little bit, so, good values are available," said Dr. Stan Longhofer, director of the Wichita State University Center for Real Estate.

The message was echoed by bankers and real estate agents at the conference where the 9th annual Kansas Housing Markets Forecast was released. They said that the market is in favor of buyers who have steady jobs and are in need of a home.

"Prices are down just a little bit so the values are very good, both from what you can pay for a home and secondly, what you can finance it for. No better time in our lifetime basically," said Dan Jones, regional lending manager for Capitol Federal.

Home sales drastically dropped last year after the tax credit expired in June. But the last 14 months have been showing a slow but upward trend.

"The market really seems to be moving in an upward direction and we think that's a very positive sign. Again, it's coming from a low level but it's moving in the right direction," said Longhofer.

The forecast shows Wichita home sales are to rise by 10 percent, to 8,130 home sales. This is still lower than the 8,617 homes sold in 2009.

For Kansas, the forecast shows home sales are on pace to end the year down 1.8 percent, but rise by 8.8 percent in 2012.

"I felt encouraged. Dr. Longhofer is projecting a 10 percent increase over this year. This year has been the worst year that we've seen as far as sales," said Todd Woodburn, managing broker for Coldwell Banker.

If the forecasts follow through, then experts say 2013 will see increases in Wichita new home construction. Longhofer said there seems to be pent up demand for new homes and those willing and able to buy should consider it.

"A few years from now, that pent up demand, those people who really want to buy but they're afraid to, they're going to be kicking themselves that they're not doing it today," said Longhofer.

To view the 2012 Kansas Housing Markets Forecast, click here.

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