Overland Park & Leawood

County’s housing market continues to gain strength

Updated: 2013-04-23T22:20:29Z

By STEVE ROSEN

The Kansas City Star

Johnson County’s housing market continued to gain momemtum last month, as the spring home-buying season kicked into high gear.

Data collected in March by the County Economic Research Institute showed significant increases in home-sale prices, new and existing home sales, and single-family home construction.

Since bottoming out more than a year ago after the recession, the county’s housing market has slowly but steadily rebounded. While good news for the region’s economy, the county’s housing market overall still lags its peak growth period before the markets weakened about five years ago.

According to CERI:

• The average price of homes sold in March reached $246,900, up 6.1 percent from March 2012. The average price for a new home hit $396,800, while existing homes sold for an average of $220,900.

• Home sales climbed 12 percent in March to 521. Of those 77 were new homes and 444 were existing homes.

• Single-family residential construction permits were up 72 percent for March from the previous year. There were 110 construction permits issued last month.

CERI’s latest report also noted a slight dip of .2 percent in overall retail sales in the county for February.

In addition, the county’s unemployment rate was 4.8 percent in February, down from 5.4 percent a year earlier. That compared with a February jobless rate in Kansas of 5.8 percent, and 7.1 percent in Kansas City. More than 280,000 county residents were employed for the month, but that was down 1.2 percent from February 2012, the report said.

To reach Steve Rosen, call 816-234-4879 or send email to srosen@kcstar.com.

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