October home sales in the Wichita area were 9.7 percent lower than September, according to figures released Monday by the South Central Kansas Multiple Listing Service.
A total of 547 new and existing homes were sold in October, 35 percent fewer than the 840 of October 2009.
However, October 2009 figures were artificially high due to the influx of first-time homebuyers seeking federal tax credits, analysts said.
A total of 501 existing and 46 new homes were sold in October, according to the MLS. The existing homes number is down from the 550 sold in September. The new homes figure is down 10 from September.
"Fully expected," said Gary Walker, residential general manager for J.P. Weigand & Sons. "October was a big month last year because of tax incentives. With our job situation and the local economy, we've got a front-end loaded year this year and a back-end loaded year last year."
Tessa Hultz, chief executive of the Wichita Area Association of Realtors, said the bulk of sales were in the $100,000 to $179,000 range for new construction and existing homes for October.
"The October statistics are a mixed bag," Hultz said. "The average sales price for new and existing homes were above numbers for September and October numbers in 2007, 2008, 2009, but the total sales volume is down for the same time periods."
The October median sale price of existing homes was $103,583, up 0.6 percent from September but down 3.2 percent year over year.
The October median sale price of new homes rose to $191,510 in October, up slightly over September and up 16 percent over a year ago.
Keller Williams broker Penny Johnson said her firm is emphasizing lead generation to fight the slowing market.
She said Keller Williams was down 24 percent October over October, 11 percentage points better than the South Central MLS performance.
Through October, sales volume is up $30 million at Weigand for the year, totaling about $380 million.
But Walker said he expects that number to level out in November and December.
"I see the end of the year being very similar to last year," he said. "I'm projecting flat. I'm hoping we'll be up a little bit, but I'd be happy with a similar ending to last year."