County’s housing market softened in the first quarter

05/27/2014 5:11 PM

06/03/2014 10:17 AM

Johnson County’s housing market ended the first quarter with a thud, as the sluggish economy and wintry weather likely combined to dampen sales and building activity.

The latest monthly economic snapshot from the County Economic Research Institute showed a 17.4 percent decline in home sales in March compared with year-earlier results.

There were 622 homes sold in the final month of the first quarter, down from 753 a year earlier. It marked the second consecutive monthly dip in single-family home sales, the report noted. For the first quarter, home sales were down 7.7 percent, with 1,616 homes sold.

Construction permits for single-family homes also declined in March. The report said 130 permits were issued, down 25 percent from the same month in 2013.

For the first three months of 2014, building permits were off nearly 21 percent, with 313 permits issued.

One bright spot, the average sales price for new and existing homes climbed 2.6 percent in March to $259,000. The average new home sold for $432,300 in March, while existing homes sold for an average of $235,900, the report noted.

Through three months, the average sales price for new and existing homes was $253,723, down from $261,695 a year earlier.

While the first quarter was soft, several more recent reports indicate that buying and construction activity picked up in April and early May.

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

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