Housing markets in the Wichita area and Kansas will recover in 2010, a Wichita State economist says in his annual forecast. Stan Longhofer, director of Wichita State's Center for Real Estate, will present his 2010 Kansas housing market forecast at 9 a.m. today at the Wichita Area Builders Association office, 730 N. Main.
Longhofer's annual Wichita study, expanded to include the state and Lawrence this year, says the "market's thaw should be complete" by the end of the year.
Wichita-area home sales should rise by 5.1 percent to 9,059 units in 2010, Longhofer said.
Home sales should rise during the first half of 2010 before leveling off in the latter part of the year.
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New-home construction, though, won't see a measurable rebound until 2011, Longhofer said.
Home sales will go up statewide, Longhofer said, by 7.3 percent in 2010 to 32,051 units.
The reason: Many housing markets across the state had begun to stabilize before the first-time homebuyer tax credit was enacted last year.
"We basically, both in Wichita and the state as a whole, started seeing a turnaround about the beginning of 2009, before the tax credits," Longhofer said.
"We really started to see the turnaround in January, and it was a very slow, modest turnaround that happened most months."
The credit should cause sales to increase sharply in the second quarter of 2010 before tailing off after the June 30 deadline, and any statewide rebound in new home construction will wait until at least 2011, he said.
The pre-credit sales rebound is a clear historical trend that should continue, Longhofer said.
"We think the upward trend that began before the credit is a fundamental change in the market that will continue," Longhofer said.
"There have been a few more sales this past year because of the tax credit, but we think its major impact is to push up the sales around the expiration dates, with the next one falling in the second quarter."
The local and state housing markets could get another bump, Longhofer said, if employment rebounds.
According to the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State, employment should rebound this year after a rough first quarter.