New and existing home sales were up 22 percent year over year in January in the Wichita area, as good weather, good prices and low interest rates drove an unusually strong winter month.
A total of 421 homes were sold in Wichita last month, up from the 344 sold in January 2011, according to figures from the Wichita Area Association of Realtors and the South Central Kansas Multiple Listing Service. The sales numbers were well off December’s blistering pace, down from the 620 sold as the year ended.
The January sales reflect the ongoing softness of the new homes market, an issue tackled this week when the Wichita City Council approved a five-year property tax rebate plan for the builders or buyers of new homes in qualifying subdivisions. Only 19 new homes were sold in January, well off the 41 sold in December 2011.
Both new and existing home inventories rose in January, well above the five to six months of homes considered a balanced market.