Wichita is home to more than 330,000 people living in neighborhoods scattered over 120 square miles. Wichita encompasses some 203,000 households with a mean household income of $38,000. The population has grown steadily over the past decade with roughly 31,000 newcomers arriving since the early 1980s.
As in other communities around the country, foreclosures in Wichita have risen, but still far below the national average. Wichita looks pretty good compared to the soaring rate of foreclosures in the nation as a whole. Subprime foreclosure rates in the area may signal that the subprime crisis is peaking here, as it has nationally.
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Existing home sales should rebound in 2009 as fears about the national housing market problems subside and first-time homebuyers adjust to tighter underwriting guidelines, according to the 2009 Wichita Housing Market Forecast published by the Wichita State University Center for Real Estate.
Existing home sales in the Wichita area have fallen sharply in the first half of this year, off 15.6 percent from the first six months of 2007. In contrast to other parts of the country, however, the inventory of unsold homes remains quite low, and homes on the market are selling fairly quickly.
New home sales continued to fall in the first half of 2008. Because new home construction has fallen at the same time, inventories of unsold homes remains at a relatively-low five-to-six months’ supply. As a result, Wichita should not experience the long-term overhang problems that will be felt in some markets across the U.S.