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Interest rates slow county housing market

Staff writer

Home sales in Kansas have taken a deep dive as potential buyers worry about higher interest rates.

At the same time, inventory is down.

Sales in November were down 30.4% compared with the same month the previous year and the lowest since November 2015, the Kansas Association of Realtors reported.

Jay Christensen, who owns Christensen Real Estate in Marion, said consumers definitely were leery of rates.

“The average interest rate is around 7%, so that’s kind of doubled,” he said. “Back in the ’80s, interest rates were 13 or 14%. So rates now aren’t unreasonable, but they’re not as good as they have been. Listings are really low. It’s not just here. It’s everywhere.”

Home sales essentially have normalized, he said. During the height of COVID-19, many buyers were getting multiple offers above asking price.

That time is over, Christensen said.

However, he said, it’s “still a good time to sell because there’s a limited number of houses on the market.

“We’re moving property. It’s not a dead market,” he said. “It’s just not like it was the last two or three years.”

Home prices continue to increase across Kansas, the association said. The statewide average sale price in November was $293,301 a 10.6% increase over last year.

“I would say they’re reasonably stable around here,” Christensen said of prices.

Patty Putter, an agent with RE/MAX, said sales had slowed down.

“Obviously we don’t have as many listings as we have had,” she said. “I think some sellers are maybe not listing because they know interest rates are high. I still have a list of people who are buying. I do think things are starting to normalize somewhat.”

Most of her customers are looking in the $140,000 to $165,000 range.

“Not much are going over $200,000,” she said.

Higher interest rates also impact how much buyers can qualify for, said Jan Lindsay, a loan officer with Central National Bank in Marion.

“It’s definitely down due to the fact that interest rates have risen and risen rapidly,” Lindsay said. “There is definitely less volume. There’s not as much available to buy either. It started slowly down at the end of last year. In 2021 and 2020, there were not enough minutes in the day.”

Last modified Jan. 11, 2023

 

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