Real Estate News

Sales of Wichita-area homes pick up in April

A worker clears debris from around a home for sale at The Courtyards At Auburn Hills, a new courtyard home community. Area home sales showed an increase in April, according to local real estate officials.
A worker clears debris from around a home for sale at The Courtyards At Auburn Hills, a new courtyard home community. Area home sales showed an increase in April, according to local real estate officials. The Wichita Eagle

The number of new and existing houses sold in the Wichita area continued to climb in April, according to a new report on Tuesday.

The South Central Kansas Multiple Listing Service report said 783 new and existing houses were sold in April 2015, compared with 754 in the same month in 2014.

The report showed year-over-year increases in both new and existing houses: 53 new houses were sold in April 2015, versus 45 in April 2014; and 730 existing houses were sold compared with 709 in the same period.

For the year, total house sales through April are 2,590, compared with 2,447 in the first four months of 2014.

“It is strong and I think it’s going to get stronger,” said Gary Walker, vice president of the residential division at J.P. Weigand & Sons Realtors.

Walker said based on the data he’s seeing internally at his company regarding pending home sales, “it really is looking like it could be a fantastic year.”

Todd Woodburn, vice president and general manager at Coldwell Banker Plaza Real Estate, said he’s also seeing strong pending numbers.

“I think we are looking at an overall increase in the market performance,” Woodburn said.

He said he thinks one of the market’s beset segments is sales of houses priced between $80,000 and $150,000, which he characterized as “extremely hot.” “I think that’s first-time home buyers coming into the market,” Woodburn added.

Walker thinks the market is benefiting from millennial generation starting to buy homes.

Woodburn also thinks that buyers’ confidence about their job stability and income is higher than it was a year ago.

“I’m certainly encouraged by what we’re seeing,” he said.

Walker said his only concern is existing house inventory. The report said the area’s existing housing inventory slipped lower to 3.4 months in April from 3.6 months in March. Five to six months of housing inventory is considered a balanced market. Less than five months of inventory is considered a seller’s market.

“When you get down to almost three months of inventory … we need additional inventory,” Walker said.

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jsiebenmark.

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