Kansas Real Estate Market Trends & Analysis

The Kansas real estate market has made great strides since the latest recession. Over the course of a decade, nearly every economic indicator has made massive improvements. In the past two years, however, steep tax cut repeals have stimulated the economy and placed the state’s budget back in the black. The entire state of Kansas is now working with a budget surplus, which has facilitated the creation of more jobs and decreased the unemployment rate.

As a result, the state’s housing sector has seen activity rise in conjunction with lower mortgage rates. It is worth noting, however, that demand persists in the face of appreciation. Despite nearly eight consecutive years of price gains, Kansas buyers are still eager to get into a market that is relatively affordable.

The Top Kansas Real Estate Markets

While the best real estate market in Kansas is up for debate, here’s a list of the cities investors may want to pay special considerations to:

  • Kansas City

  • Olathe

  • Overland Park

  • Wichita

  • Topeka

Kansas Real Estate Fees & Regulations

Real Estate

Closing Conducted by: Title Companies, Lenders, Real Estate Agents, Attorneys, Independent Escrow Firms
Conveyance: Warranty Deed

Foreclosure Procedure

Primary Foreclosure Method: Judicial
Process Period: 3 - 5 months
Notice of Sale: Sheriff
Redemption Period: Up to 12 Months


Income Tax: 2.90% - 5.20%
Corporate Tax: 4 - 7%
Sales Tax: 6.50%
Estate Tax: No
Inheritance Tax: No
Median Property Tax: 1.29%
Property Taxes by County: http://www.tax-rates.org/kansas/property-tax#Counties

Average Transactional Costs

Closing Cost: $2,582.00
Transfer Fee: Mortgage 0.26%
Origination Fee: $1,956.00

Kansas Housing Market Overview

  • Median Home Value: $140,900

  • 1-Year Appreciation Rate: +3.5%

  • Median Home Value (1-Year Forecast): +2.5%

  • Median Rent Price: $1,050

  • Price-To-Rent Ratio: 11.18

  • Average Days On Market: 58

  • Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (latest estimate by the Bureau Of Labor Statistics)

  • Population: 2,911,505 (latest estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau)

  • Median Household Income: $55,477 (latest estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau)

  • Percentage Of Vacant Homes: 9.90%

  • Foreclosure Rate: 1 in every 4,256

Kansas Median Home Prices

Median home prices in Kansas have become the primary beneficiaries of a thriving economy. Thanks, in large part, to significant tax cut repeals, a growing contingent of Kansas’ workforce has been able to stimulate the state’s economy more so than in the past. With higher wages, lower unemployment, and more opportunities in general, more residents have been able to actively participate in the housing market. That said, inventory levels in Kansas haven’t been able to keep up with today’s growing demand; there simply aren’t enough listings to make everyone happy. Consequently, homeowners have been able to increase asking prices for the better part of a decade in response to growing competition.

The median home value in the Kansas real estate market — thanks to the state’s improved economy — is now about $140,900. It is worth noting that Kansas’ average home value hasn’t always been as high as it is today. No more than eight years ago (December 2011), the median home value in Kansas was about $108,000. Market conditions over the last eight years have enabled prices to increase 30.4%. Increases were the result of several factors, but primarily the state’s inventory levels, or lack thereof. Supply and demand indicators leaning heavily in favor of sellers have awarded homeowners the ability to increase listing prices.

To put things into perspective, the median home value in the United States increased 57.6% over the same period of time. That’s not to say the real estate market in Kansas underperformed, but rather that the United States (as a whole) had a lot of ground to make up from the latest recession.

The recovery has done so well, in fact, that homes in the Kansas real estate market have surpassed pre-recession highs. Despite how far home values in the state of Kansas have come, there’s still room for growth, albeit at a slower pace. Over the course of the next 12 months, home values may increase by as much as 2.5%. Median home values across the United States, on the other hand, are expected to jump 3.4%.

Tempered appreciation rates aren’t necessarily a bad sign for the local housing market. Homes have appreciated so rapidly that there’s very little room left for appreciation. Instead, the slower appreciation rates should be seen as a return to normalcy. As more homes are listed for sale, prices should drop naturally. The market will become more balanced as inventory is added to the current supply.

Kansas Median Rent Prices

There is typically a direct correlation between home prices and their rental counterparts: Rents inevitably increase in the face of growing home prices and demand. When home prices and demand increase, more people are priced out of the market and forced to rent. Added competition in the rental market translates into higher rates more often than not. While the same can be said about most markets across the country, the Kansas real estate market appears to be the exception. Since December 2011, median rents across the United States have increased 25.0%. However, in that same time, rents in the Kansas housing market have only managed to increase 5.0%. As a result, rent list prices are considerably lower in Kansas than the rest of the country — $1,050 and $1,650, respectively.

With a median rent of $1,050 and a median home value of $140,900, Kansas’ price-to-rent ratio is 11.18. It is actually cheaper to buy a house than to rent one in the state of Kansas. Despite nearly a decade’s worth of appreciation and relatively low rental rate increases, it is currently more affordable for Kansas residents to buy than rent. While buying appears to be the most cost-effective living arrangement, renting remains an affordable alternative.

Kansas Foreclosure Trends & Statistics

According to data presented by RealtyTrac, one of the most trusted real estate information companies in the country, Kansas has a relatively low distribution of foreclosures. The ratio of distressed properties in the Kansas real estate market is lower than the national average. With approximately one out of every 5,623 homes in some stage of distress (default, auction or bank owned), Kansas’ foreclosure rate is approximately 1.7%. The foreclosure rate across the entire country, however, is about 3.9%.

Even at its current level, Kansas’ foreclosure rate represents a marked improvement over recent history. Not only has the state managed to drop its foreclosure rate month-over-month, but also year-over-year. As recently as October, “the number of properties that received a foreclosure filing in KS was 32% lower than the previous month and 18% lower than the same time last year,” according to RealtyTrac. In August of 2019, no other state had a greater decrease in completed foreclosures than Kansas (down 92% annually).

The decline in Kansas foreclosures is primarily attributed to the state’s strengthening economy. Again, the Kansas real estate market owes a great deal of its recent success to improvements in its local workforce. More job opportunities, lower unemployment, and higher wages have enabled more Kansas residents to actively participate in the housing market. Perhaps even more importantly, however, improvements in nearly economic indicator have helped more homeowners get out from underwater.

Despite recent improvements, there are still pockets across the state that have demonstrated an increased propensity towards higher distributions of distress. Five counties, in particular, have a higher distribution if distressed homes than anywhere else in the Kansas real estate market:

  • Hamilton (1 in every 1,142)

  • Wilson (1 in every 1,552)

  • Coffey (1 in every 2,028)

  • Scott (1 in every 2,239)

  • Stevens (1 in every 2,308)

Tax Lien Investing

  • Tax Lien or Deed: Tax Deed Sale

  • Interest Rate: N/A

  • Redemption Period: 2 years for vacant land; 3 years for improved property

Kansas Real Estate Investing

Investing in real estate with any degree of success is contingent on several factors. However, there’s one universal “rule of thumb” that takes precedence over just about everything else: attractive profit margins. A deal must show there’s room for profit for investors to consider it worthwhile. With that in mind, Kansas real estate investors should pay special considerations to the state’s distressed property inventory.

Distressed assets award savvy investors with higher profit margins than their traditional counterparts, and there’s no larger distribution of distressed assets in Kansas than those which are currently up for auction. Auction homes make up 56.7% of Kansas’ distressed inventory, which means investors searching for profit margins may tip the scales in their favor by attending a local auction.

In addition to auctions, investors in Kansas may want to inquire with local loan originators to gain access to their non-performing assets. If for nothing else, banks and loan originators currently possess about 22.3% of the state’s distressed inventory. You see, those homes that have already been foreclosed on (and failed to sell at auction) are in the sole possession of the loan originators.

Not every distressed property in the Kansas real estate market has been foreclosed on. In fact, 21.0% of the state’s distressed inventory is merely at risk of foreclosure. Otherwise known as “pre-foreclosures,” these homes are in the possession of owners who are behind on payments. Their delinquency suggests they too may also be willing to sell their homes — at a discount, nonetheless. In order to identify homeowners who are behind on payments (and perhaps motivated to sell), investors should take a trip to their local courthouse, where the information is made available to the public. There, they’ll be able to find the owners behind on payments, and — even more importantly — their address and contact information.

Each of these distressed scenarios represent an opportunity for investors to secure a deal below market value. Owners behind on payments, for example, may be better off selling to an investor at a discounted price than suffering the consequences that are associated with foreclosure. Auctions, on the other hand, may award investors with the ability to buy the asset from the bank at a significantly discounted price. After all, banks aren’t in the business of holding onto non-performing assets. Any inventory sitting on their books not generating revenue is actually costing them money, so they attempt to recoup the losses at auction.

Of course, knowing where to find real estate deals in Kansas is only part of the equation. Once investors secure deals, they need to know what to do with them, which begs the question: Which exit strategies are working the best for Kansas real estate investors?

Despite appreciation more than 30.0% over a period of eight years, real estate in Kansas has maintained its affordability. Subsequently, Kansas’ strengthening economy has enabled more buyers to “get off the fence” and join the buying ranks. All things considered, real tete activity is incredibly healthy, which bodes incredibly well for real estate investors in Kansas. Budget-conscious investors, in particular, will find rehabbing to be a viable strategy in today’s market. Since it’s more affordable to own in Kansas, investors will see constant demand for their rehabbed assets. That said, prices in Kansas are higher than ever, and some investors may not feel comfortable paying today’s rates. If that’s the case, now is a great time to consider starting a rental portfolio. It is entirely possible to offset higher acquisition costs with years of supplemental cash flow.

Current market conditions are creating a “perfect storm” for Kansas real estate investors. Affordability and appreciation potential are awarding savvy investors with several viable exit strategies.

Kansas Housing Market Predictions

In order for investors to maintain an edge over the competition, they need to keep an ear to the ground and anticipate market shifts. While it’s impossible to make Kansas real estate predictions without an inherent degree of error, it’s entirely possible to make educated guesses based on data and facts. It is important to note, however, that educated guesses are just that: guesses. Any attempt to predict the Kansas real estate market needs to be complemented by an equally impressive sense of humility; knowing how likely something is to happen is just as important as knowing what may happen.

Let’s take a look at what is most likely to happen in the Kansas real estate market over the next year:

  • Rehabbing will remain an attractive exit strategy despite rising prices: With a median home value well below the national average, Kansas has become a safe haven for budget-conscious investors. In fact, real estate in Kansas is so affordable that it facilitates more buying activity. As a result, investors shouldn’t have a hard time finding buyers for their assets.

  • Prices will continue to rise: Of all the Kansas real estate market predictions one can make, this is probably the most likely to come true. There simply isn’t enough inventory to meet current demand, which allows homeowners to drive up prices in the face of steep competition. That, combined with a strengthening economy and low interest rates, should increase the number of buyers actively participating in the market. Until there is enough inventory to satisfy demand, it looks like prices will continue to rise.

  • Optimism in the industry will work to Kansas’ favor: The Kansas real estate market has a lot working in its favor, but optimism might be its greatest resource. The steep decline in foreclosure activity suggests more residents are ready and willing to participate in the market. Their presence should facilitate a great deal of activity for years to come, which bodes well for everyone: buyers, sellers, and investors.


The Kansas real estate market has received a great deal of help from a strengthening economy, and vice versa. The two have, in fact, worked in tandem to create the perfect storm. Every indicator suggests the two will continue to prevail for the foreseeable future. Real estate in Kansas, in particular, looks as if it will remain healthy and active. Buyers should still be able to find relatively affordable homes, sellers will find themselves with plenty of offers, and investors should continue to capitalize on a healthy market. All things considered, the Kansas housing market is firing on all cylinders.



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