Home Sales Look Up In Wichita

By: Caroline Brady Email
By: Caroline Brady Email

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So far, so good. That's what real estate agent Claire Willenberg has to say about 2009.

"The money is there. The lenders here say they have no problem getting money for you. It's a little harder to qualify in that you have to have a good credit score, and you need some money to put down."

According to the Wichita Area Association of Realtors, we've seen a recent rise in home sales.

468 houses were sold in February - 415 existing and 53 new. That's up from 358 existing and 55 new houses sold in January, the second-lowest month on record.

Willenberg hopes buyers will strike while the iron is hot.

"Interest rates are very very good. We don't know if they'll go any lower."

Also helping spur the increase is assistance from the federal government. First time home buyers can receive a tax credit for up to 10 percent of their home's purchase price. However, not everyone can head out and buy a house right away...

"There used to be loans that would help with your down payment more than there are now. Other than that, it's still a very - for prepared buyers...you have a job, you have some money put back, you have a decent credit score - it's a good market."

According to the National Association of Realtors, the country's "affordability index" in February rose to an all time high.

Of course, no one is completely out of the woods. February's numbers are still far below stats from the same time last year when 700 houses were sold.

The worst month on record in Wichita is October 1998.

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