Lawrence Board of REALTORS® Releases Home Sales Figures for April 2016

May 23, 2016

April 2016 Sales States Graph

Homes sales rose by 10.5% in April compared to the prior year. Sales in April 2016 totaled 126 units, up from 114 in 2015.

Among existing homes, 117 units sold in April, an increase of 9.3% from 107 units that sold in 2015. The average sale price of existing homes was $188,359. This represents an increase of 0.9% from the April 2015 average price of $186,651.

For new construction, 9 sales occurred in April, up from 7 units the prior year, an increase of 28.6%. The average sale price of new homes in April was $361,771, down 3.5% from the same period last year.

 A total of 174 contracts for sale were written in April 2016, up from 172 in April 2015. This is an increase of 1.2%. Contracts written during the month reflect, in part, sales that will close in the near future.

The inventory of active listings in the City of Lawrence stood at 250 units at the end of April, which is down from 346 homes that were on the market at the end of April last year. At the current rate of sales, this figure represents 2.0 months’ supply of homes on the market.

 According to Carl Cline, President of the Lawrence Board of REALTORS®, “we have tight supply in the Lawrence housing market, especially in the lower price range. High demand in areas of short supply creates competition, drives prices upward, and lowers the amount of time homes remain available in the market. The pace of this market can be challenging for everyone. REALTORS® are in peak performance mode, and are sleeping with one eye open. Buyers need guidance to understand what it takes to compete and be in a position to win. And Sellers are not invincible. Prices are fluid, condition matters, and timing is everything. A well-coordinated listing strategy can result in multiple offers, possibly over list price.”

For questions and/or comments, please contact LBOR President Carl Cline at 785-218-1340 or cmsellm@gmail.com.

Complete statistical summaries for Lawrence and Douglas County are available at http://www.lawrencerealtor.com/market-statistics/.

 

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Talking Points on the Public Vote Requirement for Property Tax Increases by Cities and Counties

KAR Talking Points on Public Vote Requirement

What is the public vote requirement?

The public vote requirement means that cities and counties cannot increase property tax revenues over the previous year by more than the rate of inflation (currently averages 2.2% per year) unless the voters residing in the city or county approve the increase by a majority vote at an election.

Referring to the public vote requirement as the “property tax lid” is inaccurate. The public vote requirement does not put a hard cap or lid on property tax increases by cities or counties. Instead, the public vote requirement simply gives voters the right to vote on property tax increases that exceed inflation.

This is not a new or untested idea. The first public vote requirement was enacted in Kansas in 1908 and has been in effect at various times over the last 107 years. 21 states, including our neighboring states of Colorado and Missouri, have adopted the public vote requirement on property tax increases by local governments.

KAR has consistently supported the public vote requirement since the late 1960s. This position was reaffirmed by the Board of Directors in October 2015. KAR led the movement during the 2015 Legislative Session to pass legislation reinstating the public vote requirement.

How will the public vote requirement work and what are the exemptions from the law?

The law simply prevents any city or county from increasing property tax revenues over the previous year by more than the rate of inflation unless the increase is approved by a majority public vote.

The law contains 14 different exemptions where cities and counties could increase property tax revenues over the previous year by more than the rate of inflation without a public vote, including when property tax revenues increase as new buildings are constructed and new improvements are made to existing buildings. Many of these exemptions are common sense and good public policy.

Does Kansas have a property tax problem?

Yes. Over the last 17 years, Kansas local governments have increased property taxes at a rate that is more than triple the rate of inflation. No reasonable person can look at this and conclude that property taxes are growing at a rate that is sustainable for Kansas families, farmers and small businesses.

Kansas has some of the highest property taxes in the entire nation and in our six-state region (Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma). For example, our residential property tax burden is the 15th worst in the nation, our rural commercial property tax burden is the absolute worst in the nation and our urban commercial property tax burden is also the 15th worst in the nation.

If the public vote requirement had been in effect over the last 15 years, property taxes could have been reduced by nearly $489 million for Kansas property families, farmers and small businesses. This would have reduced the property tax burden by nearly $33 million each year from 1999 to 2014.

Is there widespread support for the public vote requirement?

Yes. In a recently-conducted public opinion survey, 76% of voters said that the public vote requirement was a good idea. A strong majority of self-identified Democrats, Republicans and independent voters all voice support for the public vote requirement and the right of voters to vote on property tax increases.

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Millennials overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation

April 25, 2016

PewResearch Center by Richard Fry

FT_16_04_25_generations2050

Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation, according to population estimates released this month by the U.S. Census Bureau. Millennials, whom we define as those ages 18-34 in 2015, now number 75.4 million, surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 51-69). And Generation X (ages 35-50 in 2015) is projected to pass the Boomers in population by 2028.

The Millennial generation continues to grow as young immigrants expand its ranks. Boomers – whose generation was defined by the boom in U.S. births following World War II – are older and their numbers shrinking as the number of deaths among them exceeds the number of older immigrants arriving in the country.

FT_generations-definedGenerations are analytical constructs, and developing a popular and expert consensus on what marks the boundaries between one generation and the next takes time. Pew Research Center has established that the oldest “Millennial” was born in 1981. The Center continues to assess demographic, attitudinal and other evidence on habits and culture that will help to establish when the youngest Millennial was born or even when a new generation begins. To distill the implications of the census numbers for generational heft, this analysis assumes that the youngest Millennial was born in 1997.

Here’s a look at some generational projections:

Millennials

  • With immigration adding more numbers to its group than any other, the Millennial population is projected to peak in 2036 at 81.1 million. Thereafter the oldest Millennial will be at least 56 years of age and mortality is projected to outweigh net immigration. By 2050 there will be a projected 79.2 million Millennials.

FT_16_04_25_generationsBirths

Generation X

  • For a few more years, Gen Xers are projected to remain the “middle child” of generations – caught between two larger generations of the Millennials and the Boomers. They are smaller than Millennials because the generational span of Gen X (16 years) is shorter than the Millennials (17 years). Also, the Gen Xers were born during a period when Americans were having fewer children than later decades. When Gen Xers were born, births averaged around 3.4 million per year, compared with the 3.9 million annual rate during the 1980s and 1990s when Millennials were born.
  • Though the oldest Gen Xer is now 50, the Gen X population will still grow for a few more years. The Gen X population is projected to outnumber the Boomers in 2028 when there will be 64.6 million Gen Xers and 63.7 million Boomers. The Census Bureau projects that the Gen X population will peak at 65.8 million in 2018.

Baby Boomers

  • Baby Boomers have always had an outsized presence compared with other generations. They were the largest generation and peaked at 78.8 million in 1999.
  • There were an estimated 74.9 million Boomers in 2015. By midcentury, the Boomer population will dwindle to 16.6 million.

This post was originally published on Jan. 16, 2015, and updated on April 25, 2016, to indicate that Millennials have officially surpassed Baby Boomers in population.

 

 

Lawrence Board of REALTORS® Releases Home Sales Figures for March 2016

April 26, 2016

MARKET STATS

Homes sales rose by 4.8% in March compared to the prior year. Sales in March 2016 totaled 87 units, up from 83 in 2015.

Among existing homes, 81 units sold in March, an increase of 1.2% from 80 units that sold in 2015. The average sale price of existing homes was $203,227. This represents a decrease of 2.9% from the March 2015 average price of $209,298.

For new construction, 6 sales occurred in March, up from 3 units the prior year, an increase of 100.0%. The average sale price of new homes in March was $303,467, up 12.2% from the same period last year.

A total of 169 contracts for sale were written in March 2016, up from 158 in March 2015. This is an increase of 7.0%. Contracts written during the month reflect, in part, sales that will close in the near future.

 According to Carl Cline, President of the Lawrence Board of REALTORS®,Market activity is high right now, and the success of 2016 will fall largely on the activity in this 2nd quarter of the year.   Home sales in the first 3 months of 2016 were strong at $35 million, but we currently have $43 million under contract, and we’ll see that number double in each of these next few months.  We’re predicting a strong 2nd quarter of home sales.”

The inventory of active listings in the City of Lawrence stood at 265 units at the end of March, which is down from 327 homes that were on the market at the end of March last year. At the current rate of sales, this figure represents 3.0 months’ supply of homes on the market.  “Inventory levels are a constant concern, and so far the new inventory coming into the market is sustaining sales. Buyers are competing for the new homes we see entering the market.  During March, half of the homes that went under contract did so in 12 days or less.  For all of 2016, the median ‘Days on Market’ for contracts written stands at just 17 days.”

For questions and/or comments, please contact LBOR President Carl Cline at 785-218-1340 or cmsellm@gmail.com.

Complete statistical summaries for Lawrence and Douglas County are available at http://MLSStats.LawrenceRealtor.com.  

 

KAR Capitol Report

The regular portion of the 2016 Legislative Session is complete. The Kansas Legislature will now take a few weeks off before returning for the wrap-up session in late April. All legislative action should be completed by mid-May.

Here’s how KAR is promoting and protecting Kansas REALTORS® through political action and advocacy during the 2016 Legislative Session:

1. Opposing Attempts to Increase the Tax Burden on Kansas Property Owners

WHAT’S HAPPENING:
•State tax revenues are significantly under the amount of money that the state previously estimated it would take in this year. If revenues continue to fall below estimates over the next two to three months, the Kansas Legislature may consider increasing income or sales taxes to balance the budget.
•If the Kansas Legislature attempts to increase taxes, they may try to make further reductions to the ability of state income taxpayers to claim the mortgage interest and property tax deductions on their state income tax returns. Eliminating these two very important deductions would lead to a tax increase on Kansas homeowners.

WHAT WE ARE ASKING LAWMAKERS TO DO:
•KAR will push the Kansas Legislature to do no harm to the recovering real estate market by opposing attempts to reopen the state income tax reform debate. Economic growth depends on a stable investment environment with a consistent tax code.

PROGRESS ON THIS ISSUE:
•The Kansas Legislature will need to take action sometime in the next few months to close a projected budget deficit for fiscal year 2017 (starts on July 1, 2016). We will monitor discussions on the budget to defeat any effort to increase income tax revenues by making further reductions to the ability of Kansas homeowners to claim their mortgage interest and property tax deductions.

2. Reducing the Property Tax Burden on Kansas Property Owners

WHAT’S HAPPENING:
•Over the last 18 years, the property tax burden on Kansans has increased by three times the rate of inflation. In 2015, the Kansas Legislature gave voters the right to vote when cities and counties increase property taxes by more than the rate of inflation over the previous year.

WHAT WE ARE ASKING LAWMAKERS TO DO:
•The property tax vote requirement is not currently scheduled to go into effect until January 1, 2018, which gives cities and counties a free pass to increase property taxes over the next two years without a public vote. In addition, the law is riddled with exemptions that are too broad and do not relate to growth and development.
•KAR will push the Kansas Legislature to move up the effective date of the property tax vote requirement on property tax increases to this year and to remove a few of the overly broad exemptions to the law.

PROGRESS ON THIS ISSUE:
•An agreement has been reached with cities and counties to move up the implementation date of the property tax vote requirement by one year to January 1, 2017, to eliminate several loopholes to the law and to add several new exemptions to the law that will allow cities and counties to respond to disasters and respond to development and growth. We anticipate the Legislature will take action on our legislation (Senate Substitute for HB 2088) during the wrap-up session.

3. Protecting Consumer Choice in the Housing Market by Banning Price Control Mandates

WHAT’S HAPPENING:
•Advocacy groups are pushing local governments to adopt “inclusionary zoning” requirements, which would establish sales price limits on a percentage of all new housing units constructed in new housing developments. These “price controls” act as a tax on new housing units and can lead to a significant decrease in the number of housing units built and an increase in the cost of market-rate housing for Kansas families.

WHAT WE ARE ASKING LAWMAKERS TO DO:
•KAR will ask the Kansas Legislature to protect consumer choice in the real estate market and promote affordable housing for middle-class Kansas families by passing legislation to prohibit cities and counties from adopting or enforcing price control mandates on privately-owned property.

PROGRESS ON THIS ISSUE:
•Both the Kansas House and Senate have passed legislation (SB 366) that will prohibit cities and counties from adopting or enforcing price control mandates on privately-owned commercial and residential property. Since there were some minor changes made to the bill by the Kansas House, a conference committee has been appointed to discuss these changes and develop a final version of the legislation. We anticipate the Legislature will pass SB 366 when the Legislature returns for the wrap-up session.

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Safety: Priority #1…..

3-25-16

Lawrence Board of REALTORS® Releases Home Sales Figures for February 2016

March 24, 2016

 STATS PIC

Homes sales rose by 13.3% in February compared to the prior year. Sales in February 2016 totaled 51 units, up from 45 in 2015.

Among existing homes, 49 units sold in February, an increase of 25.6% from 39 units that sold in 2015. The average sale price of existing homes was $160,032. This represents an increase of 31.4% from the February 2015 average price of $121,818.

 For new construction, 2 sales occurred in February, down from 6 units the prior year, a decrease of 66.7%. The average sale price of new homes in February was $539,846, up 35.5% from the same period last year.

 A total of 109 contracts for sale were written in February 2016, up from 85 in February 2015. This is an increase of 28.2%. Contracts written during the month reflect, in part, sales that will close in the near future.

 The inventory of active listings in the City of Lawrence stood at 255 units at the end of February, which is down from 325 homes that were on the market at the end of February last year. At the current rate of sales, this figure represents 5.0 months’ supply of homes on the market.

 According to Carl Cline, President of the Lawrence Board of REALTORS®, “The spring market has definitely arrived.  Our local market is emulating what is happening nationally, with a shortage of supply causing upward pressure on pricing as buyers compete for homes.  REALTORS® are busy.  In Lawrence during February, 135 newly listed homes hit the market, and 109 contracts were accepted by sellers.  MLS wide (Lawrence and surrounding areas) we saw 202 new listings in February, with 169 accepted contracts.  Buyers and Sellers need to commit to their REALTOR® of choice now to have the best possible competitive advantage in this tight market.”  

 For questions and/or comments, please contact LBOR President Carl Cline at 785-218-1340 or cmsellm@gmail.com.

 Complete statistical summaries for Lawrence and Douglas County are available at http://MLSStats.LawrenceRealtor.com.