Fort Smith area combined home sales value jumps 75% to begin 2016

by Kim Souza (ksouza@talkbusiness.net) 31 views 

Agents in Sebastian and Crawford counties were far busier than normal the first two months of 2016 with 409 homes sold, up 65% compared to the same period in 2015, according to data from the Weichert King Group.

Kevin King, broker with Weichert, said the mild winter has created more business ahead of what is the normal spring selling season.

Home sales volume of $52.039 million in January and February is up an impressive 75% compared to the $29.603 million in the same two months of 2015.

February was a particularly strong month with 185 sales in the two counties valued at $22.094 million, compared to 129 sales worth $15.294 million. Unit sales grew by 43% while volume rose 44.4% year-over-year. King said both counties saw increases in total housing sales and units sold in February over January numbersl. That said, each county experienced a slight drop in average sale prices last month, but totals were positive overall.

“Activity in the market has seen significant increase in number of showings and offers including many situations where there are multiple offers on the same property within days of hitting the market,” King said. “These are definitely signs that spring is getting close and with it we’ll see the addition of more homes coming on the market with renters and homeowners making plans for buying a home this spring/summer while kids are out of school.”

Sebastian County agents sold 121 homes in February valued at $15.390 million, with sales volume up 48% year-over-year. For the full two-month period there have been 276 homes sold, which is 107 more than were sold in the period last year. The increased value of $16.715 million more sales has put an extra $1 million of commission into agent’s hands so far this year.

Year-to-date median home prices in Sebastian County are $109,000, down slightly compared to $109,300 a year ago.

In Crawford County there were 64 homes sold in February valued at $6.703 million. Unit sales were up 48.8% from the same month last year. Sales volume rose to $6.703 million, a gain of 36.2% over the $4.918 million reported in February 2015. For the full two months of this year agents have sold 133 homes in Crawford County compared to 79 a year ago. The value of those sales increased to $14.476 million, up 65% from the same period last year.

The median home price in Crawford County is $99,450, down compared to $105,375 reported at the same time last year.

King said interest rates have remained surprisingly low and an early spring may get buyers out of the house ahead of the typical spring selling season which usually begins in April. It remains to be seen if the early sales boom will temper sales in the next couple of months.

He said forecasters expect sales to continue on at steadily rising rate this year with more units sold supporting higher overall sales volume. He said a 3% growth rate in the Fort Smith metro area would be deemed a strong year overall. Given the pace seen in these first two months, the market bears closer watching to see if the growth is an anomaly or perhaps pent up demand coming forward.

For those homeowners looking to sell, King said, staging a home, updating older features and pricing it competitively will provider a quicker sale. The average days on market for homes sold in Sebastian County this year was 145 days, up from 128 days reported last year.

HOME SALES (January-February 2016)
Crawford County
Unit Sales
2016: 133
2015:  79

Sales Volume
2016: $14.476 million
2015: $8.755 million

Median Sales Price
2016: $65.74
2015: $65.90

Sebastian County
Unit Sales
2016: 276
2015: 169

Sales Volume
2016: $37.562 million
2015: $20.847 million

Median Sales Price
2016: $109,000
2015: $109,392

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