Real Estate Tip: 2015 ­– 1st Half Review

lauren and scottsponsored post by Lauren Hruby and Scott DeVouton

We are halfway through 2015, and the Kansas City existing homes market continues to tick upward. There is no break for halftime, though, so let us get you up to speed. All stats are from the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors.

Having moved past the general discussion of recovery, the Kansas City market is squarely in a growth phase. This has been good news for people looking to sell their homes.  Prices are up, time on the market is down, and buyers are active. Inventory has been the primary sticking point, as it’s been for a couple of years now.  Looking to the second half of 2015 and into 2016, the issue remains: whether more homeowners will decide to put their homes on the market.

Closed Sales continue to increase, with a 12-month average of 2,579 closings per month.  This represents a 4.9% increase from this time last year. In the big picture, we are at our highest levels since 2006. This is because of a healthy first half of 2015. This March, for example, closed sales of existing homes jumped 21.4%.

Average Sales Price also moved upward to $199,806, a 6.2% increase from June 2014.  Over the past 12 months, we are up 5.2% to $173,456.  In Jackson County, the year-to-date average is $159,251, a 9.6% increase from last year, while in Johnson County, the number is $277,919, a 3.8% increase. Both counties are at average price levels higher than 2006.

Days on the Market were also down in June to 60, a 14.3% decrease from June 2014. The 12-month average is down 6.9% to 79 days. These levels are at 10-year lows, reminding us that Days on the Market exceeded 100 in 2011 and 2012.  Wow!

Pending Sales were up in June to 3,523, a 17.2% jump from June 2014. This increase followed the 12-month average, which is up 9.3% from last year.  Other than a short spike of pending sales in 2010, we are at a higher level than 2005 and 2006.

Each one of these statistics is good news for existing homeowners and buyers in the Kansas City area.  Values are up, closings are up, and pending sales are up.  Days on the market are down.  Why aren’t we considering the market a boom market?  Inventory.

Inventory was down 23.1% in June to 9,460, following a string of double-digit decreases in 2015.  The 12-month average is down 14.9% to 10,366, and this follows a 5-year trend. While inventory predictably increased during the Great Recession, we would like to see higher levels than we have seen in 2015. Based on the rest of the numbers, it’s safe to say that inventory is holding a good market back from being great.

Why is inventory low, when all factors seem to encourage homeowners to list? Low inventory may be the result of a Recession hangover. While more people are working, some buyers may still be saving up money for downpayment and furnishings.  Less visibly, many would-be sellers may still be regaining lost equity, saving up for needed repairs, or just taking a breath after being underwater for a view years.  In addition to the stats we’ve mentioned, borrowing money is historically inexpensive and more people are going back to work. Buyers are out there.

2015 has most certainly been a good year for Kansas City real estate, with many reasons for optimism. People are selling their homes for higher prices, and those homes are selling in less time. Pending sales indicate that the upward trend will continue for the rest of the season, and it appears that borrowing rates will remain low for the foreseeable future.

Inventory remains the market wild card for the next half of 2015 and into 2016. Will more sellers decide to list?  That is our biggest question, and we will be watching inventory closely.  First half statistics indicate that listing now will be rewarded.  Now, let’s see how many homeowners feel the same way.

Author’s Note – If you enjoy reading our Midtown KC Post articles, and might be buying or selling your own home, please contact us. We enjoy writing these, and love helping people.

Lauren Hruby Real Estate


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