On a daily basis, people ask me, “How’s the real estate market in Kansas City?” Sometimes they are thinking about selling their current home, but many times they’re just curious and want to know if their home has gone up in value. These conversations are typically general in nature, with me saying, “It’s good, homes are still selling pretty fast, at least with my real estate team.” This week I thought I’d highlight some exact numbers and data for you by discussing Clay County Missouri home sales.

If you look at the most recent Marketwatch Report for the 2nd quarter of 2019, you’ll see some key metrics and a graph showing the historical median sales price. I think it’s pretty obvious that no matter when you bought your current home, looking at that chart should make you happy.

To be honest, this market still mystifies me. For those of you that I spoke with at the beginning of this year, you probably heard me say that I thought 2019 would be the year this real estate market begins to slow down a little. Obviously, I was wrong, because the chart shows a huge run-up in the first part of this year. 

The problem stems from what we call “low inventory” in real estate. Look at the “Market Activity” graphs and you’ll clearly see that in the 2nd quarter of 2018 (blue) we had 834 homes for sale in Clay County, but this year in 2019 (green) we only had 777 homes for sale. That’s 6.8% fewer homes on the market than we had last year during this same period. That may not seem like a big number, but keep in mind this is only Clay County we’re looking at.

If you were trying to buy a new home in Clay County MO this year, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Buyers under $275,000 have to move fast. When a brand new home comes on the market, you better ask your boss if you can leave early that day to go look at it. If you hesitate and wait for the weekend, that house may be gone!

This is why the average sales price in Clay County shot up 7.4% from this time last year. Low inventory and competition drive prices up. Buyers are scared of missing out on their dream home and are willing to pay $5,000 to $10,000 over the sellers asking price to get it.

Just yesterday I spoke with a young couple on the phone that confessed they’ve been working with another agent and are thinking about firing her because they’ve made offers on five different homes. They said every home they like seems to have a bidding war going and now they believe it’s time to hire a more skilled agent to advise them. A friend of mine referred them to us because they’re tired of making offers and just want to buy a home.

It’s hard to say how long this upward trend will continue, but as long as the US economy is strong, unemployment is low, and housing inventory continues to stay low, I see no reason why this housing market will slow down.