Thursday, October 23, 2008



Want to generate a vigorous discussion at the office or over dinner with friends? Just ask the question: “has the housing market reached bottom yet?” Although the current outlook is a bit sour still, and no one is forecasting a fast national rebound, there are encouraging signs to be seen. The factors that inflated the bubble, speculative pricing and overbuilding, seem to be working their way through the system in various sections of the country.

The good news in Kansas City is that the area’s home sales were up in September and the inventory is down. The Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors reports a drop in new homes on the market. September saw 3,596 new homes listed, which was 27% fewer than in September 2007. And 15,284 existing homes were available in September, which was 7% lower than a year ago. The inventory of both new and existing homes for sale in September was 11% fewer than for the same period last year.

The KCRAR also reports a 15% increase in sales from a year ago for existing homes. The average price of an existing home is $142,966. This is 5% down from a year ago, while the average price of a new home was up 3%, to $291,243.

The Kansas City market is edging towards a balanced market (traditionally a 6 month inventory) with a 7.1 month supply of existing homes at this time. The formula is based on inventory divided by sales pace. The supply of new homes is a 12.5 month level.

It’s important to look at your local real estate market, not the national figures promoted in the media. The national sales figures quoted are brought down by the east & west coast boom and bust markets. (Phoenix, Las Vegas, Miami, So. California cities, etc) If the hard hit areas are removed from the statistical picture, the numbers are much more encouraging. And now that the government passed the recovery plan, the housing market could see an upswing with making borrowing a bit easier for buyers. Let us give you insight into today’s mortgage availability – there is money for purchases despite what the media indicates! Call me at 913-642-3334 or email your questions to

A few other cities with an upturn:

Des Moines: After an agricultural debt crisis in the 1980’s, there was a successful push to diversify. There has been no run up, no crash, no flipping frenzy – just a steady demand for housing. Affordable homes, with the median price of $156,600.

Raleigh, NC: The city has been experiencing good job growth. The first quarter of 2008 saw the 5th highest total quarterly sales on record. And prices are up 3.5% over last year.

Salt Lake City: The metropolitan area has a diverse economy and shown steady jobs gains, which in turn provides a cushion under home prices. Salt Lake City County saw median prices rise April-June 2008 in 7 zip codes.

Some suburban areas of Denver and Philadelphia had even seen prices jump as much as 16%. Birmingham, AL has also weathered the slump with low labor and land costs. Some local areas have seen the median home price increase just under 5% in the first half of the year. There are other cities faring just as well across the nation. Real Estate is a LOCAL market. So take the national numbers with a grain of salt, and read the local news for an accurate view of your community marketplace.

So talk to your professional real estate agent to learn about your market conditions and give us a call at Insight Mortgage Group to discuss your financing options: Michele at 913-642-3334 or email me at

Michele A. "MAC" Cole


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