By RUTH CAMPBELL
Joining the rest of Kansas, Garden City and Finney County blew the doors off home sales in May.
Fifty-one homes were sold at an average price of $130,000 and an average time on the market of 165 days. In 2012, 33 homes were sold at an average price of $128,167. Average days on the market was lower at 122 days, according to information from the Garden City Board of Realtors.
This May, 24 homes were financed conventionally, 13 with Federal Housing Administration loans, 10 with cash, three with VA loans and one that fell into the other or trade category where people might trade property.
Of the 33 homes sold in May 2012, 13 were financed conventionally, 15 with FHA loans, three with cash and two with Rural Development loans, according to Board of Realtors information.
As in previous months, most of the homes sold were four or more bedrooms.
Judy Nusser, owner/broker at Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Shoppe Inc., said there was a 55 percent increase in sales from May 2012 to May of this year and a 5 percent jump year-to-date in Finney County.
If homes come on the market and are priced well and show well, they will go under contract, so they may not be on the market for more than a week or a month, Nusser said. With Nusser, the price range of homes she's been selling is $125,000 to $225,000.
Sandy Keller, co-owner/broker of Home Town Real Estate, said her firm is also seeing a lot of activity with people looking for homes and homes coming on the market. There are 57 single-family homes for sale right now in Garden City, and the price range is $39,000 to $497,500.
"We also have 31 that are under contract. A lot of those were only on the market for less than 30 days, so although it appears there aren't a lot of homes for sale, there are homes to choose from. ... Your Realtor will help you know the minute those come up for sale, so you can have a chance to look at the new ones when they come up," Keller said.
Keller, who owns Home Town with Judy Garner, said she's seeing a mix of people moving into town, investors buying property to use as rentals, people seeking larger homes and those who want to downsize.
"I think that is one thing that keeps Garden City's market strong," she said. "We do have new people moving in, and then we also have people, who because of lifestyle changes, need a larger or smaller home."
With Pioneer Road Estates being built, Keller said, this could prompt people to want new homes.
"That will also trigger different homes coming on the market," she said.
Luke Bell, Kansas Association of Realtors vice president of governmental affairs in Topeka, said the state's housing market is "almost too tight." Generally, he said, you want a six-month supply of homes, but Kansas currently has a 4.2-month supply.
"There are actually not quite enough homes on the market to satisfy demand," Bell said. "We're now getting to the point where we almost need more supply, which is a good problem to have if you're a seller. Unfortunately for buyers, that kind of limits choices. Western Kansas in particular always had tight inventory out there. Right now, it's gotten worse. There are not as many homes being built in our more rural communities. If more homes were built out there, we think the market would absorb them. There's jobs and the economy's healthy, the ag economy is healthy."