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Kansas Housing Market ‘Picking Up Steam’

Wichita State University

The Wichita State University Center for Real Estate has released their 2013 Kansas housing markets forecast, and home sales in the state are expected to rise.

Kansas home sales will rise by more that 6 percent in 2013 according to the report released Thursday.

Director of the WSU Real Estate Center Dr. Stan Longhofer says home prices will also begin to inch their way up. Home prices in Kansas have remained basically flat for the last few years.

Longhofer says the Wichita area saw a sharp drop in housing activity after the home buyer tax credit expired in 2010.

“We’ve now seen about two years of pretty steady increases in home sales activity, so that is really showing some underlying strength and resiliency in the housing market,” says Longhofer. “Right now we’re on pace in Wichita for home sales to be up by more than 7 percent in 2012, and we think that is going to continue and increase another 4 percent in 2013.”

Longhofer says the projections could be impacted by uncertainties - like the federal deficit and the European debt crisis. But, he says, absent something bad happening, the state is on the right track and picking up steam.

Picking up steam, consequently, is the title of the report.

Statewide forecast

Home sales – Home sales across the state are poised to rise by nearly 13 percent in 2012, led by strong growth in the northeast part of the state. Although the pace of growth will slow in 2013, sales should rise again by more than 6 percent to 33,670 units.

Construction – Statewide, new home construction will rise only slightly in 2012, with strong gains in Kansas City, Lawrence and Manhattan being offset by declines in Wichita. As construction slows in the northeast next year, permitting in Kansas will decline by nearly 7 percent, falling to 3,095 units.

Home prices – Average home price appreciation across the state is set to rise by nearly 2 percent in 2012, with the rural parts of the state showing stronger growth than the metropolitan areas. Home prices should rise another 1.5 percent in 2013.

Wichita market

Home sales – Since the expiration of the home buyer tax credit in the summer of 2010, home sales in the Wichita are have risen steadily, if slowly, for two full years. Sales are on pace to rise by more than 7 percent this year. This growth will continue in 2013, with sales rising another 4 percent to 8,370 units.

Construction – New home construction continues to languish, with permitting activity in the Wichita area set to end 2012 at its lowest level on record. Despite some help from new home incentive programs in the area, permits are likely to rise by only 2 percent in 2013.

Home prices – Wichita area home prices fell only modestly over the past two years, and seem poised to rebound in 2013, rising by 1.3 percent. As in many markets across the state, the inventory of homes available for sale has declined sharply over the past two years, giving sellers more leverage than they’ve had in several years.

You can read the full 2013 Kansas housing market report here.