Arkansas home sales rebound in February, up 2.44% year-to-date

by The City Wire staff (info@thecitywire.com) 13 views 

Home sales in Arkansas’ four largest markets were up 5.78% in February after falling 2.5% in January, and the number of homes sold during the first two months of 2015 in the four markets totaled 2,691, up 2.44% compared to the same period in 2014.

The total value of home sales in the four markets during the first two months was $438.786 million, up 10.77% compared to the same period in 2014 and up 14.87% compared to the 2013 period.

The City Wire’s Arkansas Home Sales Report captures home sales data in the state’s 14 most populated counties within its four largest metro areas — Central Arkansas, the Fort Smith area, Jonesboro/Northeast Arkansas and Northwest Arkansas. The report, which records closed sales, accounts for between 70% and 75% of total Arkansas home sales.

Jonesboro was the only market to see a sales decline in February.

Average sales price for homes in the four markets was $163,057 in January and February, up 8.14% compared to the first two months of 2014. Homes are also selling faster. The average days on market during January and February was 104.67, better than the 105.23 in the same period of 2013.

There were 21,447 homes sold in Arkansas’ four largest markets in 2014, up 3.8% over 2013 and up 17.33% over 2012. The total value of home sold in the four markets during 2014 was $3.554 billion, up 3.24% over 2013 and up 18.97% compared to 2012. Gains in the number of homes sold in 2014 certainly varied by market. Sales totaled 9,904 in central Arkansas, up 2.32%. In the Fort Smith region, which has an economy not yet on stable footing, home sales were up a surprising 14.33% for the year.

FEBRUARY NUMBERS
February home sales in the four markets totaled 1,464, up 5.78% compared to February 2014, and up 12.88% compared to February 2013. The average price per home in the four markets during February was $167,506, up 7.23% compared to February 2014, and up 4.98% compared to February 2013. The total value of sales in the four markets during February was $245.229 million, up 13.43% compared to February 2014 and up 18.5% compared to February 2013.

There were 687 homes sold in central Arkansas, up 4.57% compared to February 2014, and up 12.44% compared to February 2013.

February home sales totaled 487 in Northwest Arkansas, up 8.95% compared to February 2014, and up 8.71% compared to February 2013.

Jonesboro area home sales totaled 161, down 1.83% compared to February 2014 and up 29.84% compared to February 2013.

In the Fort Smith area, home sales totaled 129, up 11.21% compared to February 2014, and up 13.16% compared to February 2013.

The total value of the sales during February were up 6.2% in central Arkansas, up 20.91% in Northwest Arkansas, up 4.13% in the Jonesboro area, and up 2.83% in the Fort Smith region.

The City Wire Economist Jeff Collins said the February housing market report is yet another one that shows slow, steady growth and is not a surprise considering how markets have advanced over the past year.

He did note that Northwest Arkansas is a bit of a surprise because Benton and Washington counties are so far ahead in sales prices and units sold compared to a year ago. Collins said a reason for that growth could be explained by the natural volatility of the housing market in Northwest Arkansas. Prices were higher than they should have been in the mid-2000s and fell hard when markets started decaying around 2007. The strong gains, then, should come as no surprise because buyers and sellers tend to overreact in more volatile markets.

Collins said Northwest Arkansas isn't the only bright metro in the report. He said even if you take it out of the numbers, the rest of the state is holding up well and are indicative of the economy as a whole – slow, steady growth that has been present in most parts of the economy.

THE REGIONAL PICTURE: January-February 2015
Central Arkansas — Home sales
Jan.-Feb. 2015: 1,228
Jan.-Feb. 2014: 1,267
Jan.-Feb. 2013: 1,181

Fort Smith area — Home sales
Jan.-Feb. 2015: 248
Jan.-Feb. 2014: 229
Jan.-Feb. 2013: 193

Jonesboro area — Home sales
Jan.-Feb. 2015: 287
Jan.-Feb. 2014: 281
Jan.-Feb. 2013: 226

Northwest Arkansas — Home sales
Jan.-Feb. 2015: 928
Jan.-Feb. 2014: 850
Jan.-Feb. 2013: 841

The top five counties in terms of January-February 2015 home sales:
Pulaski — 564, down compared to 571 in January-February 2014
Benton — 549, unchanged compared to January-February 2014 
Washington — 379, up compared to 301 in January-February 2014
Craighead — 230, up compared to 224 in January-February 2014
Saline — 196, down compared to 220 in January-February 2014

Link here for a PDF document of the February 2015 data.

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