Real estate tip: What do stats mean?

Midtown Kansas City real estate marketsponsored post by Lauren Hruby and Scott DeVouton

Statistics are in vogue, but you don’t have to be Nate Silver to read what they say. The Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors publishes basic stats each month.  Housing stats, like other sectors of the economy, tell us how the market is doing and what is possible.  Home prices, inventory, number of homes sold and number of contracts pending are all highlighted in the organization’s monthly report.

The report covers existing homes and new construction in the region’s 8 counties.  For this article, we’ll focus on existing home stats in Jackson County and the region, rather than new construction or other specific counties, such as Johnson County.

The average February Jackson County home price was $121,597.  This represents a 6.9% increase from February 2013.  This is a good sign, especially considering the region as a whole went up 4.5% with an average existing home price of $151,435.

1,485 existing homes were sold this February.  This only represents a 2% increase from February 2013.  Why weren’t more homes sold?  The simple answer is there weren’t enough houses on the market.  Inventory was a full 7% lower than February 2013.  There were also 8% fewer pending contracts this February than last.

Supply of homes on the market is an interesting stat.  This factors inventory and annual number of sales into a month-supply factor.  A factor of 5-6 months is usually considered a balanced market, while anything lower is a “seller’s market.”  Anything higher is a “buyer’s market.”  The regional factor now is 4.4 months, which is lower than last February’s 5.1 months.  A seller’s market, indeed.

What does it all mean?  Interest rates are still relatively low.  Unemployment is also on a downward trend.  More people are working and loans are accessible.  Buyers are out there, and they are growing each month.

The issue is with sellers.  The bottom line is that there aren’t enough homes on the market.  The slow and steady growth of the Kansas City housing market continues, limited primarily by lack of supply.  As the weather warms up, we will see how hot the market gets.

Sellers and buyers can both prepare.  Sellers, a low inventory makes the good homes really stand out.  Make sure your home is ready for market, and pay attention to timing.  Buyers, get pre-approved and know your needs and wants.  Buyers who act quickly will win.

Of course, your real estate agent has access to many more statistics than this, and can really analyze your situation.  In this market, especially heading into the busy season, it pays to know your stats.  A little knowledge could mean selling your home or finding just the right place.

For the complete KCRAR February Regional Housing Report, click HERE.

Lauren and Scott are with Lauren Hruby Real Estate, Keller Williams Realty Key Partners, LLC.  They work with people looking to sell or buy a home in the Kansas City area.  For more information, visit or call 816-529-6174.

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