Year-to-date home sales up more than 7% in Arkansas’ large markets

by The City Wire staff (info@thecitywire.com) 19 views 

Home sales in Arkansas’ four large markets are up almost 7% through April, even with a decline in homes sold in two of Arkansas’ four large metro markets during April. Also impressive is that the average sales price in the four markets is up more than 7% and the value of sales is up almost 15% year-to-date.

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.

The number of homes sold in the four markets in the January-April period totaled 6,604, up 6.9% from 6,177 in the same period of 2014, and up 11.37% compared to the same period in 2013. In the January-April period, home sales were up 3.56% in central Arkansas, up 7.37% in the Fort Smith metro, up 5.12% in the Jonesboro metro and up 12.23% in Northwest Arkansas.

The total value of January-April home sales in the four markets was $1.102 billion, up 14.83% compared to the same period in 2014 and up 14.55% compared to the 2013 period.

Average sales prices are also on the rise. The average price for homes in the four markets was $166,898 in the January-April period, up 7.41% compared to the same period in 2014, and up 2.86% compared to the same period in 2013. For the year-to-date period, the average sales price in the four large markets ranged from a high of $196,861 in Benton County to a low of $87,954 in Jefferson County.

As it has been for most of the year, the only negative in the Arkansas Home Sales Report is the days-on-market number. The average days on market during the January-April period was 104.36, up from the 102.57 in the same period of 2014, and up from 103.49 in the same period of 2013.

POSITIVE OUTLOOK FOR HOME SALES
Kathy Deck, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas, said April was a strong month for the housing market even when compared to a “monster” March. In March, sales were up 15.33% in the four areas of the state covered in The Arkansas Home Sales Report when compared to the same month a year ago. In April, sales were up 2.88% compared to the same month last year.

Deck said the remainder of 2015 will be good for more home sales growth. She said the summer months are traditionally the strongest ones for home sales and there is every indication sales will continue to expand this year.

She said unemployment numbers are promising, low interest rates should stay in place for the short term and Arkansans are, generally, responding well to an improving economy. Part of that response, she said, is taking on the commitment of financing homes – a major decision people generally don't take when they are out of work or worried about keeping their jobs.

MODEST GROWTH IN APRIL
April home sales in the four markets totaled 1,930, up 2.88% compared to April 2014, and up 8.86% compared to April 2013. The average price per home in the four markets during April was $172,520, up 8.14% compared to April 2014, and up 1.7% compared to April 2013. The total value of sales in the four markets during April was $332.964 million, up 11.26% compared to April 2014 and up 10.71% compared to April 2013.

Home sales during April were up in Northwest Arkansas and the Fort Smith metro, but down in central Arkansas and the Jonesboro market.

There were 894 homes sold in central Arkansas, down 2.93% compared to April 2014, and up 6.05% compared to April 2013.

April home sales totaled 677 in Northwest Arkansas, up 14.36% compared to April 2014, and up 10.26% compared to April 2013.

Jonesboro area home sales totaled 192, down 3.52% compared to April 2014 and up 12.94% compared to April 2013.

In the Fort Smith area, home sales totaled 167, up 1.83% compared to April 2014, and up 14.38% compared to April 2013.

Thanks to higher average home prices, the sales value was up in all four markets. The total value of the sales during April were up 3.02% in central Arkansas, up 22.73% in Northwest Arkansas, up 10.55% in the Jonesboro area, and up 33.74% in the Fort Smith region.

THE REGIONAL PICTURE: January-April 2015
Central Arkansas — Home sales
Jan.-April 2015: 3,054
Jan.-April 2014: 2,949
Jan.-April 2013: 2,820

Fort Smith area — Home sales
Jan.-April 2015: 597
Jan.-April 2014: 556
Jan.-April 2013: 479

Jonesboro area — Home sales
Jan.-April 2015: 678
Jan.-April 2014: 645
Jan.-April 2013: 557

Northwest Arkansas — Home sales
Jan.-April 2015: 2,275
Jan.-April 2014: 2,027
Jan.-April 2013: 2,074

The top five counties in terms of January-April 2015 home sales:
Benton — 1,424, up compared to 1,294 in January-April 2014
Pulaski — 1,371, up compared to 1,352 in January-April 2014 
Washington — 851, up compared to 733 in January-April 2014
Craighead — 553, up compared to 510 in January-April 2014
Saline — 523, up compared to 508 in January-April 2014

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

THE 2014 PICTURE
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.

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