Existing home sales up, inventory down compared to a year ago

06/13/2012 5:00 AM

06/14/2012 7:25 AM

May’s home sales in the Wichita area offer reason to be encouraged, said Tessa Hultz, CEO of the Wichita Area Association of Realtors.

Existing home sales for the month were up 10.6 percent, to 700 homes, compared to the same month in 2011, according to the Wichita Area Association of Realtors.

Through the first five months of the year, sales were up 8.6 percent compared to the same five months of 2011. That’s the best start to the year since 2008, except for 2010 when homebuyer tax credits were in effect.

Just as importantly as the increase in sales, Hultz said, is that the number of homes on the market has fallen to 5.5 months worth for existing homes and 5.9 months on new homes, which she says is neither a buyer’s nor a seller’s market.

Some of that drop in inventory comes from the continued drop in new homes on the market. The number of new homes being actively marketed through May plunged 30 percent compared to last year and is about a third of the number in 2009.

As to why sales appear to be rebounding, Hultz said, it’s hard to point to one thing.

“There’s 100 different reasons,” she said. “Some are tired of waiting. And, hey there’s not a better time to buy with interest rates crazy low. And I think people are just getting used to the stagnant economy and going ahead and doing what they have to do.”

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