After seeing a slight decline at the end of summer, home sales are on a positive track in Arkansas’ four largest markets with year-to-date sales up 4.08% and the value of homes sold up more than 3%. October sales in the four markets were up 9.29% and the sales value was up an impressive 18.16%.
September sales in the four markets were up more than 7% and sales were up more than 9%.
Home sales in Arkansas’ four largest metro areas during the first 10 months of 2014 totaled 18,342, up 4.08% compared to the same period in 2013, according to The City Wire’s Arkansas Home Sales Report. The average price per home sold in the four markets was $165,527, down 0.96% compared to the same period in 2013, and the total value of $3.036 billion in the four markets was up 3.08%.
The year-to-date comparisons are up against what was a robust 2013 in terms of Arkansas home sales and sales values. For example, the 2014 year-to-date home sales are up 18.53% over the same period in 2012 and the value of home sales is up 20.12% compared to the same period in 2012.
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.
BALANCE AND WEATHER
Prices are going in the right direction – especially in Northwest Arkansas – but they have not fully recovered to the peak year values, according to Kathy Deck, director for the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas. She said prices are still anywhere from 5% to 10% below peak levels hit nearly a decade ago.
“What we have is a balanced (Northwest Arkansas) market, even in light of all the new construction going up in the past year or so. We are not seeing any concern or caution at this point because the empty and completed homes listed for sale are not unmanageable. That is something we track closely,” Deck said.
Deck said prices have not appreciated to the point where those who bought near the market high nearly a decade ago, have enough equity to sell and move up or down, despite low interest rates.
“This is not just a local issue, it’s true in many areas across the nation,” Deck said.
Kevin Clifton, owner and broker at Kevin Clifton Realty in Van Buren, said the weather will determine how home sales finish out the year and begin the new year.
"The weather will play a big part in that first quarter for us," Clifton said. "Consumers just don't want to get out in that (cold, snow and ice). As long as the weather stays steady, we'll still have a good first quarter."
October home sales in the four markets totaled 1,882, up 9.29% compared to October 2013, and up 29.53% compared to October 2012. The average price per home in the four markets during October was $171,141, up 8.12% compared to October 2013, and up 3.2% compared to October 2012. The total value of sales in the four markets during October was $322.086 million, up 18.16% compared to October 2013 and up 33.66% compared to October 2012.
There were 822 homes sold in central Arkansas, up 6.48% compared to October 2013, and up 17.43% compared to October 2012.
October home sales totaled 689 in Northwest Arkansas, up 16.19% compared to October 2013, and up 36.98% compared to October 2012.
Jonesboro area home sales totaled 190, down 7.32% compared to October 2013 and up 57.02% compared to October 2012.
In the Fort Smith area, home sales totaled 181, up 19.08% compared to October 2013, and up 40.31% compared to October 2012.
The total value of the sales during October were up 2.36% in central Arkansas, up 33.17% in Northwest Arkansas, up 4.25% in the Jonesboro area, and up 61.06% in the Fort Smith region.
THE REGIONAL PICTURE: 2014
Central Arkansas — Home sales
Jan.-October 2014: 8,552
Jan.-October 2013: 8,221
Jan.-October 2012: 7,447
Fort Smith area — Home sales
Jan.-October 2014: 1,686
Jan.-October 2013: 1,477
Jan.-October 2012: 1,357
Jonesboro area — Home sales
Jan.-October 2014: 1,907
Jan.-October 2013: 1,684
Jan.-October 2012: 1,472
Northwest Arkansas — Home sales
Jan.-October 2014: 6,197
Jan.-October 2013: 6,241
Jan.-October 2012: 5,198
The top five counties in terms of Jan.-October 2014 home sales:
Pulaski — 3,928, up compared to 3,804 in 2013
Benton — 3,950, up compared to 3,927 in 2013
Washington — 2,247, down compared to 2,314 in 2013
Craighead — 1,511, up compared to 1,345 in 2013
Saline — 1,408, up compared to 1,302 in 2013
Link here for a PDF document of the October 2014 data.