Kansas City Housing Closes Down Year in 2009

January 20, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Housing units in the Greater Kansas City area dropped more than one quarter last year, according to statistics compiled by the Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City (HBA). The metro region finished 2009 with 3,651 total housing units permitted, down from 5,062 total units the year before.

Among single-family homes, a total of 2,154 single-family units were permitted last year, a decline of 36 percent from the previous year. During the final month of the year, a seasonally adjusted total of 196 single-family units were permitted, down from a revised total of 213 units in November.

Multifamily rental construction showed a significant rebound in December, when 805 permits were issued in the Greater Kansas City area. Multifamily rental construction was down in 2009, falling from 1,681 permits in 2008 to 1,497 permits by the end of last year. Total multifamily construction rounded out the year with 1,497 permits issued in 2009.

HBA Interim General Manager George Schluter said that the extended and expanded tax credits have given some optimism to the home-building industry. Helping new and current homeowners benefit from the credit is expected to help the housing market to continue to build momentum.

“December’s permit figures clearly indicate that the demand for housing is still out there,” Schluter said. “As inventory levels continue to shrink and the economy stabilizes, we will need more housing choices to help Kansas Citians realize the dream of homeownership.”

The expansion of the tax credit passed by Congress late last year allows qualifying existing home buyers to receive a credit of up to $6,500 towards the purchase of new home. Buyers who have owned the same primary residence for at least five of the last eight years may qualify for the credit.

The $8,000 first-time buyer tax, which was extended until April 30, 2010, also continues to draw consumers to the housing market. Buyers who have signed contracts by the end of April have until June 30 to close the sale and qualify for the credit.

“Many consumers are finding that now is the best time to buy a new home,” Schluter said. “Builders have done their part to reduce inventories, and the local housing market is in a position to improve when sales begin to increase.”

The local new-home market remained fairly consistent in 2009. Metro-leader Johnson County saw a jump in market share last year, accounting for 31 percent of all new home starts. With market share nearly unchanged from the year before, total activity in the Northland eclipsed Johnson County for the second consecutive year. Clay and Platte counties had 32 percent of all new-home units in 2009, with 24 percent and 8 percent market share respectively.

Jackson County’s market share fell 1 percent to 15 percent, while Cass County remained unchanged at 6 percent. Leavenworth County showed a 2 percent jump for the year, while Wyandotte dropped 1 percent to 6 percent of new-home units last year. Miami County rounded out the metro at 2 percent.While the metro as a whole saw housing units fall overall from a year ago, Leavenworth County posted the best performance with a drop of just 15 percent, followed by Johnson County with a 30 percent decline and Platte County down 34 percent. Clay County wasn’t far behind with a 35 percent drop, while Miami County saw units fall 36 percent. Jackson and Wyandotte counties units fell 37 percent and 38 percent respectively last year, while Cass County saw the most dramatic drop at 45 percent.

Kansas City, Mo., led the list of top-permitting cities for the eighth consecutive year permitting a total of 520 single-family homes in 2009. The top five cities remained unchanged for the second year in a row with Olathe ranking second with 305 units, followed by Overland Park with 132, Lee’s Summit with 110, and Kansas City, Kan./Wyandotte County with 101.

Rounding out the top ten were unincorporated Platte County with 76 units and Gardner with 72 units, up from No. 10 to seventh. Leavenworth breaking into the top 10 at No. 8, tying with Blue Springs and Shawnee at 52 units each. Falling out of the top 10 was Raymore with 51 units in 2009.

The Home Builders Association of Greater Kansas City (HBA) is the voice of the housing industry and the source for housing information. Comprising approximately 1,000 member companies, the HBA represents an industry that contributes more than $2.5 billion to the Kansas City economy and supports more than 36,000 jobs in the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area.

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