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'It's a buyers market'

The Kansas City Star featured a two-part series the week of March 9 focusing on the state of the housing market and what lies in the future for the industry.

The panel discussion moderated by Star business editor Chris Lester and conducted at the HBA included HBA executive vice president/CEO Tim Underwood;, HBA members John Moffitt Jr. of Moffitt Development Co., Kevin Enyeart of Gale Homes Inc. and Dan Whitney of Landmarketing Inc.; HBA staff vice president of public affairs Matt Derrick; Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors CEO Diane Ruggiero; and James Nutter Jr. of James B. Nutter & Co.

Lester brought the panelists together to discuss the the changes that home-building professionals see in the current market and what impact mortgage rates, foreclosures, changing demographics and other factors have had on the housing market.
One of the strong messages from the housing experts was that buyers who try to time the market will likely find the best opportunities withing the next six months. They pointed toward rising construction costs, the likelihood of higher mortgage rates and declining supply.

"Construction prices are still going up, especially with oil prices where they are," Enyeart said. "We’re still getting those letters from our manufacturers saying we’re taking price increases. As a builder group, we’ve been doing our best to maintain where we are and not take those price increases. But when this inventory is out and there isn’t anything in the backlog, guess where our new construction prices are going? They’re going up."

"The only way anyone knows if we’re at the bottom is when we’re looking at it in the rearview mirror," Moffitt said. We’re probably about at the bottom if you really study the statistics. And those people who are going to call for action in the first half of ’08 are probably going to be the ones who timed it right." 

Read - Real Estate Realities
Kansas City Star two-part series by Chris Lester

Part 1: Sunday, March 9

Part 2: Tuesday, March 11

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