August home sales in area down 20.3%
August marked another decline in home sales in the Fort Smith region and statewide, with about the only bright spot being a year-over-year increase in the combined value of homes sold in the region.
The number of new and existing homes sold during August 2010 in Crawford, Franklin and Sebastian counties totaled 141, down 20.3% compared to August 2009, according to a report released Sept. 9 by the Arkansas Realtors Association.
Statewide, the number of homes sold during August fell 14.66% to 1,897 when compared to July 2009.
In the Northwest Arkansas economy, home sales struggled during August, with Benton County sales down 16.96% and Washington County sales down 8.84% for the month. Year-to-date, home sales in Benton and Washington counties are down 5.04% and up 1.22%, respectively.
Home sales in the first half of 2010 were boosted by a federal tax credit for certain homebuyers. The number of new and existing homes sold during the January-June 2010 period in Crawford, Franklin and Sebastian counties totaled 974, up 8.4% over the same period in 2009. By July, the number of homes sold in the area was down compared to the 2009 period.
With that credit now expired, many housing market watchers expect a relative decline in home sales the remaining months of 2010. The federal tax credit cited for the Arkansas gains provides up to $8,000 for first-time home buyers and up to $6,500 to home buyers. The program requires homes to be under contract by May 1 and close before Sept. 1.
The number of new and existing homes sold during the January-August 2010 period in Crawford, Franklin and Sebastian counties totaled 1,242, down 2.43% over the same period in 2009. The value of the homes sold in the three counties during the first eight months of 2010 totals $158.291 million, up 2.4% compared to the same period in 2009.
January-August home sales in Arkansas totaled 16,204, up 0.8% over the 2009 period. The value of homes sold January-August totaled $2.357 billion, up 0.84% compared to the 2009 period.
Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, said nationwide home sales remain subpar.
“The housing market is trying to recover on its own power without the home buyer tax credit. Despite very attractive affordability conditions, a housing market recovery will likely be slow and gradual because of lingering economic uncertainty,” Yun said.
REAL ESTATE STATS
Number of homes sold
Jan.-Aug. 2010: 347
Jan.-Aug. 2009: 383
Jan.-Aug. 2010: 53
Jan.-Aug. 2009: 51
Jan.-Aug. 2010: 842
Jan.-Aug. 2009: 839
Value of homes sold
Jan.-Aug. 2010: $40.457 million
Jan.-Aug. 2009: $45.381 million
Jan.-Aug. 2010: $3.722 million
Jan.-Aug. 2009: $3.333 million
Jan.-Aug. 2010: $114.112 million
Jan.-Aug. 2009: $105.815 million
Average price of homes sold
Jan.-Aug. 2010: $116,592
Jan.-Aug. 2009: $119,013
Jan.-Aug. 2010: $70,234
Jan.-Aug. 2009: $65,363
Jan.-Aug. 2010: $135,526
Jan.-Aug. 2009: $126,121
The top five Arkansas counties in terms of number of homes sold during Jan.-Aug. 2010:
Pulaski County (2,894, up 1.47% from 2009)
Benton County (2,165, down 5.04% from 2009)
Washington County (1,375, down 1.22% from 2009)
Saline County (1,000, up 6.84% from 2009)
Faulkner County (863, down 9.25% from 2009)