Saturday, February 7, 2015

What is going on with the real estate market in Gardner, Kansas? The Gardner Real Estate Market Update and the 12 Real Estate Trends for Gardner in 2015

Ah yes, it is still February and the weather is already in the 60's. The holidays are behind us and the Super Bowl was definitely eventful, wasn't it?  

The real estate market in Gardner typically parallels the weather. It is kind of hard to get home buyers to look at homes when it is cold, windy, and snowy outside. When the weather shifts, home buyers start coming out of the woodwork.

Although, it is too early to smell the grass leaving from its hibernation, the tulips peeking through the flower beds and the buds on the red buds popping out,  real estate agents like myself know that spring is right around the corner without looking at a calendar. 

While many Gardner residents are getting ready for youth baseball, youth soccer or the city wide garage sale; local real estate specialist are fielding the flood of inquiries from home buyers and sellers thinking about making a change in 2015. What usually doesn't awaken until the ground thaws and the sun shines through the trees, the spring real estate market in Gardner is starting to roar and I anticipate 2015 to be a HUGE ROAR! 
Bubba Starling Kansas city Royals
This should be an exciting spring with Bubba going to the Kansas City Royals Spring Training
This spring should be very exciting for Gardner residents. Not only is the real estate market heating up, but I also heard that Bubba Starling, Gardner's very own, is headed to the Kansas City Royals spring Training. I hope what I heard is true.

Now back to real estate. Since mid October I've been asked repeatedly what the real estate market will look like in the coming spring. It has been a guessing game all winter. The real estate inventory has been very low and the scarcity of home buyers has been hovering at near life support status. Will more homes come on the market and more buyers hit the market to buy?

Great questions aren't they? Even if you're not thinking of selling your home why should you care? You should care, because if the real estate market rebounds so will the value of your home. 

Want to know more about Gardner? Checkout our About Gardner, Kansas Page.

Gardner Real Estate Market Report

The real estate market is changing in 2015. I see the following 12 real estate trends in 2015:

1) Home Sales Prices are Trending UP!
The median sales price bottomed out at $133,800 in January of 2013. Since then the real estate sales price has been steadily increasing. 2014 ended with a bang and 2015 is starting with a bang with the median sales price in the 170's. With homes selling for higher prices, many homeowners now have equity to sell and I look for the median sales price to keep increasing in 2015. Homeowners looking to move-up may want to move-up their plans early before the more expensive homes get priced out of their market this summer.

2) The Median Days on the Market is Decreasing
Despite low real estate inventory, the median days on the market peeked in the 80's and 90's the past couple years. That means it has been taking 80-90 days for homes to sell in Gardner. With homes selling quicker, the real estate market should go toward a STRONG Seller's Market this spring. Well prepared homes that are properly priced will sell faster in 2015. 

3) Homes are Listing Higher and Selling Already
The average list price of homes listed in the past 30 days is $21,000 higher than the average sales price of homes that have closed in the past 90 days. Those home sellers who have tested the market have noticed that homes are selling for higher prices. They have seen the proof that homes are going up in value. I have kept my eye on a few homes and have seen a few quick sales (homes selling in 48 hours). I see this trend continuing.

4) Interest rates are increasing in 2015
I have been bombarded by loan officers with proof that interest rates are increasing as much as 1.5% in 2015. If they do increase, this may hurt the late to the market sellers who wait until the summer to sell. Those who sell earlier will not be affected by the higher interest rates.

5) Home buyer's can still get a Zero Down Mortgage in Gardner
Sure if a home buyer can get a VA loan, they can go about anywhere for a home.  But for those home buyers who are not VA eligible, the USDA zero down mortgage is a sweet mortgage. A home buyer can actually buy a home for less money than putting down a security deposit and first payment to rent a duplex in Gardner. The USDA loan is not available in most of Johnson County including Olathe and Overland Park, so look for cash strapped home buyers to skip Olathe and Overland Park for more attractive financing in Gardner this spring.

6) Fewer Distressed Homes For Sale in Gardner
This week I pulled up short sales and foreclosures for sale for a Gardner home buyer. There were fewer than 4 foreclosures in the MLS in their price range. In 2013, I could have shown that same home buyer all day and still not have shown them all of the short sales and foreclosure homes for sale. Despite RealtyTrac reporting that there are 163 properties in some stage of default in Gardner, I'm not seeing many foreclosures on the MLS.  RealtyTrac does report that foreclosure filings are down 94% compare to the same time last year. With fewer distressed homes for sale this spring, there will be less pressure for homeowners to giveaway their homes in order to sell. This will further excite homeowners to put their homes on the market this spring and buy the home that they have been dreaming about the past couple years.

7) More Jobs
In the past 2 years I can count on one hand the number of relocating home buyers that asked for Gardner. I have had twice that many inquiries in January of 2015. With jobs coming open at the BNSF Intermodal, the New Century AirCenter and the surrounding businesses, more relocating home buyers will start looking in Gardner. In the past couple days I have had two couples inquire about relocating to Gardner because they both had accepted jobs in Gardner. Since most areas of the United States are priced higher than Gardner, look for relocation to start generating higher end home sales in Gardner.

8) FHA Lowered It's Fees 
FHA is helping those home buyers who can not qualify for a zero down USDA mortgage loan by decreasing the fees. The lower fees should spur home sales this spring.

9) First Time Home Buyers are BACK!!!
Gardner was built on the backbone of first time home buyers. When the real estate market soured, the cost of living increased and the student loan payments seemed getting out of hand; first time home buyers were affected most and decided to hold off buying their first home. Many decided to stay at a parents home or rent. Now that home values are starting to increase home buyers are trying to get out of their leases and take advantage of the zero down loan programs, lower home values and low interest rates. As all increase, first time home buyers will be coming out of the woodwork to take advantage of the times.

10) New Homes are Back!!!
No, the new home builders are not back like they were in 2003 and 2004, but they are coming back. A short drive through Gardner and you will see many subdivisions like Genesis Creek Estates, Genesis Farms, StoneBrooke Place, St. Johns Highlands, Willow Brooke Estates, Waverly Pointe, Copper Springs, Megan Valley and Symphony Farms not completed. Sure that is quite a few subdivisions and I'm sure I missed a few. The original builders are gone and new builders and developers have or are taking them over. The new homes will spur home sales and for those homeowners who start early in selling their homes, they may find that they will not compete with the flashy, new homes when they decide to sell.

11) Excitement is Back!
I have been selling real estate for over 25 years. I have seen the good times and the bad times. There probably hasn't been a worse time than the financial collapse of 2008. Not even when interest rates were hovering over 16% for a ARM mortgage (ah, do you remember the adjustable rate mortgage?). Equally there probably wasn't a better time in real estate than between 2003-2005. Real estate was fun and there was excitement in the air. It wasn't unusual to list a home in Gardner and before I got back to the office, a neighbor had a friend or family member who wanted to buy the home. That excitement was lost when the market collapsed. Lately, though, I have seen that excitement showing signs of coming back. Lately, I have seen Gardner residents eager to help their friends and family members find homes in Gardner. That is good for helping Gardner expand it's pool of potential home buyers.

12) The Accidental Landlord
During the past 4 years there have been over 100 homeowners who have relocated out of Gardner and could not sell their homes. Some expired and a few others took their homes off of the market. Since they were moving from Gardner, they became accidental landlords. I have talked to quite a few and many of their leases are ending this summer. With home values increasing, many of these accidental landlords will think about round 2 of selling their homes.

In Conclusion:
It is never the best time to buy or sell for everyone because everyone has a unique situation. 

To review your options, lets talk . . .

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