Shawnee County housing recovers as sales, pricing rise

Home sales and prices in Shawnee County ended 2012 higher than in 2011, pointing to a continuing recovery in the housing sector.

The Topeka Area Association of Realtors reported 238 houses were sold in Shawnee County in December 2012, up 14 percent from 208 homes in December 2011.

Shawnee County had a 5.4-month supply of homes at the end of 2012, meaning that if buyers continued purchasing homes at the same rate, it would take about five months and 12 days before they would buy up all the homes on the market.

Prices also rose, but by a far smaller percentage. The average home sale price in 2012 rose to $119,332, from $117,773 in 2011 — a roughly one percent increase. The average is calculated by adding up all of the sale prices in a given period and dividing that sum by the number of houses sold.

The median price in 2012 was $104,250, up from $101,925 in 2011. The median price is the point where half of the houses sold were more expensive and half were less expensive.

Linda Briden, CEO of TAAR, said the Shawnee County housing market appears to be on a path toward recovery, though of course housing remains vulnerable to challenges in other areas of the economy.

“I think it would be a little premature to state that the market is healthy again. However, the signs are encouraging and the trend is going in the right direction,” she said. “I think everyone’s feeling optimistic in that the numbers are looking better each month.”

Statewide, the Kansas Association of Realtors reported December home sales rose 11 percent and prices rose more than 15 percent over the same month in 2011. Nationwide, sales were up 12.8 percent.

The Kansas realtors reported 2,447 housing units sold in December 2012, with an average price of $166,724. In December 2011, 2,204 houses had sold, for an average price of $144,173.

Statewide, there were 13,089 homes listed for sale at the end of December — about a five-month supply. Kansas started 2012 with a 10-month supply of houses in January, and that bumped up and down in the five- to six-month range for most of the year.

The report said 32,054 houses were sold statewide during 2012, up 13.8 percent from 2011. The average sale price was $158,338, up 4.7 percent from the previous year.

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