Kansas – A Housing Market Full of Ups and Downs
The number of homes for sale in Kansas made a pretty significant jump between 2011 and 2012, and realtors here expect to be even busier in 2013.
Interestingly enough, though, a political fight could determine which direction this housing market goes in! That’s because Kansas Governor Sam Brownback wants to get rid of the mortgage interest tax deduction when the state legislature convenes in July. Even though the deduction is popular – and, nationwide, housing experts say it’s a huge incentive for people to start buying homes again – Brownback says getting rid of it would help balance the Kansas state budget.
Realtors around Kansas aren’t happy about the proposal, though. Many of them have actually planned protests at the state capitol to voice their displeasure!
But even if the deduction were to be eliminated, the change wouldn’t go into effect for awhile. So, what’s on tap for the Sunflower State’s housing market before then?
Wichita ended 2012 on a strong note, and the trend is expected to continue. The number of home sales is expected to increase by at least 4% this year, while the number of permits for new homes is predicted to increase by at least 2%. If those forecasts are right, it will mean that both homeowners and builders are happy about the direction this state’s economy is headed in.
And, unlike many parts of the country, Wichita’s inventory was “balanced” to start the year – meaning that it would take about six months to sell everything that was listed for sale. That’s a big difference from some places, where the inventory was only about a month or two.
In Topeka, 2012 brought price increases of about 5%. While realtors in Kansas think that 2013 will bring additional increases, they don’t foresee them being that high. Instead, they think selling prices here will only rise about 1%. Still, though, it’s a step in the right direction – especially since prices had spent all of 2008, 2009, and 2011 going down.
Over in Manhattan, the housing market is an interesting one. Unlike most of the country, home prices in the Little Apple actually went up for most of 2009 and 2010 – then started declining in 2011. However, realtors in Kansas think that 2013 will be the year that Manhattan finally turns the corner. They’re predicting that the Little Apple will see gains in both home prices and the number of homes sold. In fact, they think Manhattan will actually make bigger progress than Wichita does!
Never thought you’d see so many ups and downs in America’s flattest state, huh?!
Living in Kansas
In search of a place to live where you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life and still take a relaxing drive along the lakes, rivers and tallgrass prairies? Then Kansas may be just the right spot for you.
While Kansas is coined as the flattest state in the nation, the eastern part of the state boasts some hills and forests.
And like the geography, the weather changes throughout the state. Cool winters and hot and humid summers dominate the eastern two-thirds of the state. The western part of the state experiences extremely hot summers (but less humid), and winter weather fluctuates between warm and very cold.
Before you head off to Kansas, let’s go over some of the fast facts:
- What is the population of Kansas?
- The population of Kansas is 2,885,905
- What is the capital of Kansas?
- The capital of Kansas is Topeka
- What is the largest city in Kansas?
- The largest city is Wichita
Located in the Grain Belt, Kansas is known for its grain production as well as agricultural outputs, such as cattle, sheep, wheat and soybeans. It is also known for industrial outputs such as commercial and private aircraft, food processing, publishing, and chemical products. Ranked 8th in U.S. oil production, Kansas is also ranked 8th in natural gas production.
If you are interested in history, Kansas is home to multiple museums and 25 National Historic Landmarks. The state has plenty of activities, from cultural events, casinos, zoos, nationally-ranked golf courses, key hunting and fishing spots, and exhilarating auto-racing venues.
There are plenty of opportunities to experience the Wild West in Kansas with its forts, trails, railroads and museums dedicated to Native American, African American, Civil War and pioneer history!
One of the oldest active United States Army post, Fort Leavenworth, is also located in Kansas. The fort is more than 180 years old and is the starting point of the Buffalo Soldiers, the original members of the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army who organized in 1866.
If you enjoy the outdoors, take the family to Wilson Lake. Known for its hiking and biking trails as well as boating, camping, hunting, and striped bass and smallmouth bass fishing, Wilson Lake has more than 100 miles of shoreline.
Bottom line – this entire state is much more diverse than most people think!