Rising sales, prices attributed to rural flight, pent-up demand
This all differs dramatically from the Kansas City metro area, where new construction sales were up 45 percent in February over the year before. "We are still well below new construction sales from the peak in 2006 by about three-fourths, but it is getting better," said Steve Banks, president of the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors (KCRA) and Heartland Multiple Listing Service, and principal in RE/MAX Heritage in Blue Springs, Mo.
Banks sees good things ahead for the area.
"Regionally, we are in the ninth consecutive month of increased sales (as compared to the same month of the prior year)," he said. "That hasn't happened since 2003."
In March 2012, the existing-home sale price hit $143,354, a 3 percent rise over March 2011, KCRA reported. Much of that was carried by a handful of counties -- Clay/Ray, Jackson and Johnson -- all of which experienced an increase in average sales price for existing homes from the same month in the prior year.
The average new-home price in March 2012 was $316,036, up 3 percent from a year earlier, according to KCRA.
Also on the right track is existing-home supply, which in March was 7.1 months, a much better number than the 8.9 months in March 2011.
In Johnson County, through the first three months of the year, closed sales jumped 25 percent over 2011, said Banks. "Year to date (through March) average sale price hit $235,599 in Johnson County, up 2 percent over the prior year."
Banks attributes the better numbers in the housing market to pent-up demand. Plus, he sees more building ahead. "We're seeing basements going in, cement being poured and framing crews back at work," he said. "Just a year and a half ago, there was no activity; new construction had stalled."
Johnson County is a very prosperous area with a well-diversified economy, said Hall. "The county has been doing well for three decades. It's our Dallas. Again, the reason it's so stable is because of internal migration. No one is building in the rural areas and we are getting excess population moving into the metro areas."
Dorothy, after arriving back from Oz, and growing up, would move away from the family farm to Overland Park where she would become a successful headhunter and killer entrepreneur.
Steve Bergsman is a freelance writer in Arizona and author of several books. His latest book, "Growing Up Levittown: In a Time of Conformity, Controversy and Cultural Crisis," is now available for sale on Amazon.com.
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