Area home sales in June up from a year ago

Home sales in the Wichita area reached their ninth consecutive month of increases, as compared to 2012, according to the South Central Kansas Multiple Listing Service’s June 2013 report.

The report said home sales in June increased 6.3 percent from the same month a year ago, while inventory for existing homes remained tight.

The report said 828 homes were sold in June, compared with 779 in June 2012. Of the homes sold in June, 782 were existing and 46 were new.

The median price of existing homes sold in June was $125,000, compared with $114,900 in June 2012, an 8.8 percent increase. The median price also climbed for new houses sold in June to $233,965, up 2.3 percent from $228,700 in the same month a year ago.

The months of inventory for existing homes was 4.3 months in June, unchanged from May. But that metric continued a change that began in April in which the months of inventory for existing houses fell below five months. A figure below the five-month range indicates a seller’s market.

New home inventory was 5.4 months in June.

The more active housing market also was reflected in numbers for the first six months of 2013. The report said 4,223 homes were sold in the first half of the year, compared with 3,920 in the same period a year ago. That was a 10.5 percent increase.

“It’s wonderful right now,” Willie Kihle, president of Prudential Dinning-Beard, said of the local housing market.

He said he’s not shaken by three consecutive months of lower existing housing inventory, primarily because the drop has been slight.

“We don’t have the huge swings some markets have, going from five (months) to 15, or from six (months) to one,” Kihle said.

He added that he’s feeling a lot of relief about coming out of what had been a depressed home sales market just a couple of years ago.

“We’re very excited, especially for our sellers,” he said. “It’s been a little bit of a challenge for them over the last few years.”

“We’ve been due.”