Report: Housing market tight in Wichita

housing market

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — There was a slight rebound in Wichita home sales last month, though the housing marking remains especially tight, data show.

The latest monthly totals from the Wichita Area Association of Realtors show it is a seller’s market with a low housing inventory slowing a local rebound in home sales, The Wichita Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/1nbEGn3 ).

In April, there were just 2,870 houses on the market, which is 13 percent fewer than last year. That makes last month the second-tightest April housing inventory in the Wichita area since record keeping started in 2001, said Stan Longhofer, director of the Center for Real Estate at Wichita State University.

Home buyers bought 754 homes in the Wichita area in April, more than in March but a drop of 10 sales compared with the same month a year ago. Of those, 709 were existing homes and 45 new homes.

So far this year, the real estate association has reported the sale of 2,410 homes. That is about 5.3 percent fewer than the 2,544 sold through the first four months of 2013.

“April came up pretty close,” said Greg Fox, a real estate broker and president of the South Central Kansas Multiple Listing Service. “It’s still down for the year, but I don’t know that I’d say ‘Geez, we’re in trouble, and I need to pack up and find a new line of work.'”

Longhofer said that many homeowners may be holding onto their houses because they are underwater on mortgages and don’t want to lock in losses by selling the house. But if the market remains tight, home prices will rise and that will lift the market, putting more and more homeowners back into the black on their mortgages.

“So it will fix itself as home values come back,” he said.

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

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