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October 11, 2012

Wichita area home prices to rise in 2013

Home prices in the Wichita area will rise 1.3 percent next year, after falling in 2011 and 2012, according a new housing forecast.

Home prices in the Wichita area will rise 1.3 percent next year, after falling in 2011 and 2012, according a new housing forecast.

The forecast by the Wichita State University’s Center for Real Estate was released Thursday morning.

Forecast author Stan Longhofer projects that home sales will rise 7 percent this year and 4.2 percent in 2013.

The local housing market is finally staring to tighten up, he said.

“What we see happening is that inventories have become more balanced as sales have picked up, while we’re not seeing listings pick up as the same rate,” he said. “That surprised me.”

He said he has heard from real estate agents that they are starting to have trouble finding good ready-to-sell homes in desirable neighborhoods.

“We’re starting to see multiple offers again,” he said.

But, he cautioned, homes that are less appealing or homes that are in areas that are less appealing are still struggling to attract potential buyers.

“I wouldn’t say we’re moving into a sellers market,” he said, “but we are moving away from a buyers market.”

But the forecast doesn’t think increased sales of existing homes will spur much new home construction, Longhofer said.

He predicts that, despite numerous municipal incentive programs and record low interest rates, the number of building permits in 2012 will fall to the lowest on record and will rise just 2.0 percent in 2013.

His predictions for 2013 elsewhere in the state:

• Kansas City: sales, up 5.4 percent; prices, up 1.5 percent; permits, down 5.6 percent.
• Topeka: sales up 0.7 percent; prices up 0.9 percent; permits down 6.3 percent.
• Lawrence: sales, up 15.8 percent; prices up 2.1 percent; permits up 3.1 percent.
• Manhattan: sales up 3.1 percent; prices up 3.3 percent; permits down 8.5 percent.
• All of Kansas: sales, up 6.3 percent; prices up 1.5 percent; permits down 6.9 percent.

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