Starter home shortage in Kansas City a challenge for buyers

Posted at 6:12 PM, Apr 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-12 19:25:51-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- If you are thinking about selling your first home, this is a good time. The real estate market in Kansas City is an unprecedented seller's market, according to the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors.

Starter homes ranging from $100-200,000 are in such high demand they are only on the market for days, some just hours.

“As soon as they hit the market, it pops up and you have to be available to go see it right then and there or you’ll miss out,” said Rick Parker, a buyer’s agent with Keller Williams.

Right now, there are only five homes for sale in Lee’s Summit in the range of $100-200,000.

Blue Springs has 12 homes for sale in the same price range.

Across the state line in Kansas, starter homes are also hard to come by.

“It’s selling faster as they come on the market over in Kansas; you might have 20 offers on one house,” said Parker.

Many homes are also being sold for well above their listing price.

“In some places in Johnson County, people have put in offers $20,000 above list price and still not gotten the home,” said Sally Moore, a realtor with Keller Williams.

Which means it’s a great time to sell but a challenging time to buy.

As of March 2018, there were 4,501 resale homes on the market across the Kansas City region. That equates to a 1.5 month supply of available homes, which indicates a market highly favoring sellers.

“We have only 1.5 months of inventory right now, which means if nothing else went on the market it would take only 1.5 months to sell every home for sale in Kansas City,” said Moore.

In comparison, a balanced market, one that equally favors buyers and sellers, would be a 5-6 month supply.

“The problem that we’re in is because people are not seeing anything that they want to move into. They are hesitant to put their house on the market,” said Moore.

The solution? New construction.

There are new homes being built in both Kansas and Missouri but even those are going quickly.

“It’s a frustrating time for the buyers and the buyers' agents,” said Parker.

If you are looking to sell your first home and maybe move up to a larger one, you are actually in a perfect spot. Inventory increases the higher the price point.

The Spring Parade of Homes is coming up at the end of the month. Parker said this is an opportunity for home buyers to have a look at new properties.

The Spring Parade of Homes runs from April 28 through May 13, 2018. Find out more at