Inventory of new construction in Northwest Arkansas continued to decline during the second quarter of 2008, while more existing homes on the market became occupied.
According to the second quarter residential Skyline Report released Aug. 20, 900 homes in existing subdivisions became occupied during the quarter.
The report showed an increase from the first quarter of 2008 when 798 homes became occupied, but a significant decline from the 1,148 homes that became occupied during the second quarter of 2007.
The Skyline Report is commissioned by Arvest Bank Group Inc. and compiled by the Center for Business and Economic Research in the Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas.
There are still 1,566 complete but unoccupied homes on the market, according to the report.
The number of building permits issued also declined. In the second quarter of 2008, 416 permits were issued compared with 744 issued in the same quarter a year ago.
In Benton County 204 permits were issued, while 212 permits where issued in Washington County.
Rogers accounted for the most permits in Benton County, with 70 permits issued for new homes compared to 64 permits in Bentonville.
In Washington County, Fayetteville accounted for 113, or 27.2 percent of the permits issued, while just 40 permits were issued in Springdale.
Existing home sales declined 25 percent from a year ago as 1,307 existing homes were sold in Benton and Washington counties during the second quarter.
Payne Brewer, executive vice president and loan manager at Arvest Bank-Fayetteville, said the report shows building permits are still being issued and homes are being purchased.
“It’s good to see the continual presence of demand in the market quarter over quarter,” he said. “Even though the landscape of this market has changed quite a bit in the last several years, the region is still growing and that is very important.”