Sedgwick County homebuyers saw prices, supply rise in July

Sedgwick County’s housing market trends in June continued to hold on last month.

A year-over-year sales decline persisted, but prices remained resilient and inventory ticked up.

New South Central Kansas MLS data shows July’s median home sale price in the county rose 3% to $242,000 compared to July 2022.

Meanwhile, sales volume fell 15.6% year over year to 621 homes, and housing inventory continued its steady rise as it hit 1.5 months’ supply — the highest mark of 2023.

Buyers are “not in panic or rush mode near as much as in the previous years,” said John Beckman, director of residential lending at Meritrust Credit Union, in a WBJ interview last month. “There’s a little less competition and more homes on the market. It seems to be a little bit healthier time for a buyer right now to be looking.”

Neighboring Butler County also saw sales down — by 12% to 81 units — and inventory go up to 1.6 months’ supply. But its median sale price dipped 5% to $240,000.

According to the SCK MLS data for Sedgwick County, the $300,000-$399,999 price range had the strongest sales in July with 118 closed listings (19% of all sales). Homes between $200,000-$249,999 followed closely behind with 115 sales.

Across the country, prospective homebuyers face two primary, stubborn headwinds: elevated mortgage rates and ultra-low inventory.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.9% last week — up from 6.81% the prior week, according to Freddie Mac. This week, a separate report from the Mortgage Bankers Association found rates hitting 7.09% in the wake of Fitch’s recent downgrade of U.S. government debt, making it the second-highest mark since 2001.

And even though local housing supply is rising, it’s still well below the 4-6 months’ inventory experts say is seen in a balanced market.

Active listings remain especially low for those looking for a home in Sedgwick County that costs less than $200,000. There are just 54 active listings between $150,000 and $199,999, compared to 210 for houses priced between $300,000 and $399,999.

Overall, though, the lower supply continues to support prices locally and nationally.

“Despite higher rates and lower purchase demand, home prices have increased due to very low unsold inventory,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, in a news release.


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