story by Kim Souza
Old man winter is the blame for lackluster home sales across Northwest Arkansas in January and likely February as well, according to local agents.
From Jan. 1 through the first two weeks of February homes sales across Northwest Arkansas totaled 463, with volume of $76.255 million, according to MountData.com. Unit sales are down 9.2% from a year ago, while total volume is off by 10%.
In the two-county area, there were a total of 393 homes sold during January, down slightly from 395 in the year-ago period, according to MountData.com. Total sales recorded last month was more than $65.778 million, flat against the same period last year.
Two of the region’s largest firms each reported flat unit sales in January. Coldwell Banker noted that its sales volume did increase 16.7% from a year ago and new business still pending is down from last year.
“I think virtually all of that is weather related, as demand is still apparent, supply is still adequate for demand, and interest rates have decreased somewhat,” said George Faucette, CEO of the local Coldwell Banker franchise.
Crye-Leike's Northwest Arkansas sales for January totaled $14 million in volume with 117 properties. The firm also noted that bad winter weather has slowed sales and showings. The company will hold its annual sales goals meeting in Rogers on Wednesday (Feb. 19), and will provide more details at that time.
The larger market in region (Benton County) has stable unit sales, while smaller Washington County posted a slight decrease in units sold.
Agents sold 253 homes in Benton County last month, which was 18 more sales than recorded a year ago. Total sales volume in the county was $41.345 million, up just 1% from the same period in 2013, according to MountData.com.
Median home pricing dipped last month in Benton County to $128,200 or $77.3 per square foot. That compared to $140,000 or $76.20 per square foot in January of last year. Coming off of a stellar year in 2013 in terms sales volume, median prices rose 3.44% in Benton County to $150,000, or $82.60 per square foot.
In Washington County, agents sold 140 homes, 20 less than sold in the same month last year. Total sales volume was nearly flat year-over-year at $24.433 million in 2014.
Median prices in Washington County were $149,900 last month, or $84.5 per square foot. This is was an 8.66% price increase from a year ago. The higher median prices in Washington County help to keep the regional square foot price stable at $80 year-over-year, according to MountData.com.