Not skipping a beat, the robust Wichita housing market finished 2017 with a bang.
Released Monday, South Central Kansas Multiple Listing Service data showed that home sales last month jumped by 3.6 percent when compared to December 2016.
While the weather has continued to cool, the market remains red-hot, says Wichita Realtor Kirk Short.
"Housing values continue to improve and options are getting thinner," Short says. "Buyers are having to settle on homes that have more work to do after they purchase them. This means homes that buyers may do construction loans with or remodel loans like the "FHA 203K" loan."
A total of 812 units sold last month, compared with 784 the previous December.
Among existing homes in the five-county area (Butler, Sedgwick, Cowley, Sumner and Harvey counties) that makes up the MLS south central Kansas region, 751 sold in December, representing an increase of more than 4 percent from the December 2016 total of 721. In November of last year, 752 existing homes sold.
The average sale price for an existing home in December was just over $139,200, a decrease of more than 4 percent from the December 2016 average. New construction lagged slightly in December as 61 sales took place compared with 63 in December 2016.
"Now is the time to buy, however buyers need to be more creative as the move-in home is getting harder to find," Short says. "When it is there, we’re seeing multi-offer situations. I’m having an extremely strong January and February is looking the same.
A total of 580 contracts for sale were written last month. That number reflects a slight decrease from the 583 written in December 2016. Short says he expects interest rates to climb as 2018 moves along.
"I’m curious to see the impact or pressure on housing the increased hiring will have at Spirit and other places as our workforce gets stronger," Short added. "I’m really excited for Wichita and the state of real estate sales in and around Wichita. I’m also excited to see more out-of-state investors coming into Wichita buying up properties."
The MLS reported 2,214 active listings at the end of last month, which represents a slight dip from the 2,278 active listings on the market at the end of December 2016. That means about a 2.7-month supply of homes are on the market.
A figure representing less than five months of supply is generally thought of as a seller’s market.