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12/30/2012 6:01:00 AM
Kingman housing starts doubled in '12
77 permits not a boom, but it beats 2011
A house under construction along Country Club Drive.
A house under construction along Country Club Drive.

Ahron Sherman
Miner Staff Reporter

Kingman home sales in 2012 outpaced those that occurred in 2011, and so did the amount of building permits pulled for single-family residences. But don't call it a boom just yet.

In a struggling economy, improvement - no matter how small - is hard to come by, but that's exactly what the Kingman housing market did in 2012.

Take building permits, for example. In 2011, Kingman issued 37 building permits for single-family residences - roughly three a month. But in 2012, the city issued 77 of the same type of permits, which comes out to roughly six per month.

Kingman City Council did away with impact fees at the beginning of 2012, and though that fact tells part of the story, it doesn't tell all of it.

"In my mind, we did the right thing by eliminating impact fee," said Mayor John Salem. "(Seeing the numbers now) gives me more faith in the decision that was made."

An improving building industry does nothing but good for Kingman, Salem said. It's one of the largest pieces of the regional economy, he added.

These numbers are a good indication that the economy is moving forward, albeit slowly, Salem said.

But there's more to it.

Sandra Wetmore, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Prestige Properties, said the lack of inventory in Kingman and the surrounding area - not including Golden Valley - plays a role in how well the building industry is doing. On Friday, there was an inventory of 385 homes.

But these homes can cost as little as $20,000 and as much as $1 million, she said. When people think about buying a home, they usually have a price range, so that limits choices as well.

"There could be only four to five homes (to choose from) in someone's price range," Wetmore said. "I sold four brand new homes in 2012."

In 2012 it was rare for the inventory to get above 400 homes. That's a far cry from 2007, when inventory pushed over 1,000.

"When there's 1,000 homes (in an area) on the market, something is up," Wetmore said. And that something is not good. "It's a little on the scary side."

In 2011, 914 homes were sold in the Kingman area, and they had a median listing price of $74,900. But as of Friday, 1,009 homes were sold in 2012 at a median listing price of $78,100. Of these sales, 376 were foreclosures.

It's important to note that the housing sales cited here refer to homes with two, three and four-bedrooms.

The sale price volume of these is where one can see the biggest improvement. In 2011, all home sales in the Kingman area were sold for a combined $80,547,000, but in 2012 (up to Friday) the sale price volume was $95,060,191.

In both years, the list-to-sale ratio hovered around 95 percent, which means Realtors were doing a good job of selling homes at fair market value, Wetmore said.

"I made a living (in 2012)," Wetmore said. "But there were Realtors in the area that made a killing."

There are still a good amount of investors purchasing these homes, but there are also out-of-state buyers, including many retirees, buying homes and moving to Kingman.

"I'm very optimistic," Wetmore said. "We had a decent year and I'm looking forward to 2013. I'm not hearing (from other Realtors) how horrible it is out there anymore."

And that wasn't the case two years ago.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

I do believe the real estate industry is trying to convince folks to buy them over priced homes again, and start this never ending cycle of false prosperity in America, the real estate agents make their bread and butter off of them sales commissions, the appraiser makes his from the agents getting them to appraise the value, the higher the better for them, its a cycle, oen buying a home or real estate today best be aware these folks do not perpetuate this game for their benefit but their own!

Posted: Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Article comment by: Eliana Robertson


Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2012
Article comment by: Bridget yankowitz

I find it hard to believe that Kingman's housing market is booming when this backward's city is anti-growth. My husbsand and I lived in Kingman for two years until we got sick and tired of people against new businesses coming in and using scare tactic rhetoric to prevent the city from prospering. Thank God we moved to a pro-growth atmosphere.

Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2012
Article comment by: When Will Reform Occur? When

"But there were Realtors in the area that made a killing." You know that was largely and will continue to be a large part of the reason for housing depressions that help to plung this country into recessions and depressions.

The realtors are a selfish, self-serving bunch. They only care about pumping up housing prices to increase their commissions. Houses are inflated to unrealistic levels.

This area is a minimum wage community. Yet a few years back the average home price for the area was around $200,000.

The appraisal and lending industries make up the rest of the problem. What percent of a minumum wage income is needed to meet the monthly payment of a $200k mortgage?

All three segments kept pushing this fallacy. I guess the stupid buyers need to be named as part of the problem.

This country was thrown into a major recession (if not depression) largely resulting from the system. No one from any of these segments have gone to jail and will not. The system has not be revised one bit. Now these greedy little real estate, appraisers, bankers are licking their chops to make another "killing" at our country's expense.

Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2012
Article comment by: Strange Sentence

Why is it important to note house sales referred to 2,3,4 bedrooms? That accounts for 99% of the houses sold.

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