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Country-level analysis shows that major housing markets are moving in favor of buyers; is it Wichita?

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — A new national analysis by home loan service Knock shows that the top 100 housing markets are moving in favor of buyers. While this may seem like a good sign to potential local homebuyers, Wichita real estate experts say the city as a whole isn’t following the national trend.

Since 2014, Wichita has been a sellers market (largely due to the recession). Dr. Stan Longhofer of the Wichita State University (WSU) Center for Real Estate says that while things aren’t as extreme for homebuyers as they were during the pandemic, the Wichita housing market won’t necessarily favor them any time soon.

“It won’t be months, it will be years before we’re really able to make a dent in our inventory issues,” said Dr. Longhofer.

Dr. Longhofer says a balanced housing market contains between 4 and 6 months’ supply of homes for sale. However, last month, Wichita had a 1.2 month supply.

“Something that would have sold maybe five years ago for $140 or $150, you’re looking at that doubling,” said Margaret Metzger, Associate Broker at Collins & Associates Real Estate Professionals.

Metzger says he conducted broker price reviews for eight locations in and near Sedgwick County just last week.

“I can tell you that each of the areas I’ve been in still shows a high seller market,” Metzger said.

South Central Kansas Realtors President Adam Crowder says that while he expects home prices to level off in the near future, he doesn’t expect them to drop to 2018-2019 average sales levels.

“You won’t see home prices return to that $178, $180 price range, Crowder said. “You’ll see them go from $240 to maybe $235, $230.”

Knock’s analysis also projects that the median home price nationwide will fall from $410,000 to $366,000 by June. However, Dr. Longhofer says the expected drop has more to do with buyers settling for less with rising mortgage rates.

“If what happens is that more low-end homes are being sold than high-end homes, then the average selling price is going to go down, even as the underlying value of each individual home is going up,” said Dr. Longhofer.

As for when we might see a more balanced market, experts say Wichita will have to wait at least two years for that to happen. However, with the Panasonic and Integra Technologies plants both in the works, depending on when those jobs might arrive in Wichita, the city could jump right back into the sellers market over the next few years.

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