The number of homes sold in Arkansas’ four largest markets during the first five months of the year is up more than 7% and the value of the homes sold is up almost 14%, thanks to continued growth in the Northwest Arkansas and central Arkansas metro areas.
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-May period totaled 8,870, up 7.49% from 8,252 in the same period of 2014, and up 11.7% compared to the same period in 2013. In the January-May period, home sales were up 4.59% in central Arkansas, up 4.49% in the Fort Smith metro, up 2.43% in the Jonesboro metro and up 14.22% in Northwest Arkansas.
The total value of January-May home sales in the four markets was $1.5 billion, up 13.91% compared to the same period in 2014 and up 14.84% compared to the 2013 period.
Average sales prices continue to rise. The average price for homes in the four markets was $169,120 in the January-May period, up 5.98% compared to the same period in 2014, and up 2.81% 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 $197,864 in Benton County to a low of $93,618 in Jefferson County.
The average days on market during the January-May period was 96.33, down slightly from the 96.77 in the same period of 2014, and up from 94.06 in the same period of 2013.
TWO UP, TWO DOWN IN MAY
May home sales in the four markets totaled 2,236, up 7.66% compared to May 2014, and up 11.35% compared to May 2013. The average price per home in the four markets during May was $175,631, up 2.36% compared to May 2014, and up 3% compared to May 2013. The total value of sales in the four markets during May was $392.71 million, up 10.2% compared to May 2014 and up 14.7% compared to May 2013.
Home sales during May were up in Northwest Arkansas and central Arkansas, but down in the Fort Smith and Jonesboro metro areas.
There were 1,063 homes sold in central Arkansas, down 6.73% compared to May 2014, and up 13.33% compared to May 2013.
May home sales totaled 785 in Northwest Arkansas, up 19.3% compared to May 2014, and up 10.25% compared to May 2013.
Jonesboro area home sales totaled 196, down 11.31% compared to May 2014 and down 2.97% compared to May 2013.
In the Fort Smith area, home sales totaled 192, down 4.95% compared to May 2014, but up 23.08% compared to May 2013.
Thanks to higher average home prices, the sales value was up in three of the four markets. The total value of the sales during May were up 7.47% in central Arkansas, up 20.26% in Northwest Arkansas, down 10.57% in the Jonesboro area, and up 2.41% in the Fort Smith region.
‘A GOOD MONTH’
Kathy Deck, director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas, said the market reports are all about jobs — those areas of the state with strong jobs growth are seeing markets improve while those still having unemployment problems are seeing weaker markets.
“When we look from a year-over-year perspective or a month-to-month perspective, quantities and prices are both up," Deck said. "Some markets are still struggling, but things are looking good on this whole. Really, this is a good month. A continuation of the strong economic performance we've seen throughout the year.”
She said the overall economy in Arkansas is improving and that is moving all segments of the economy forward. She said even housing markets in struggling parts of the state are starting to stabilize and show signs of improvement.
THE REGIONAL PICTURE: January-May 2015
Central Arkansas — Home sales
Jan.-May 2015: 4,126
Jan.-May 2014: 3,945
Jan.-May 2013: 3,759
Fort Smith area — Home sales
Jan.-May 2015: 791
Jan.-May 2014: 757
Jan.-May 2013: 635
Jonesboro area — Home sales
Jan.-May 2015: 885
Jan.-May 2014: 864
Jan.-May 2013: 761
Northwest Arkansas — Home sales
Jan.-May 2015: 3,068
Jan.-May 2014: 2,686
Jan.-May 2013: 2,786
The top five counties in terms of January-May 2015 home sales:
Benton — 1,927, up compared to 1,737 in January-May 2014
Pulaski — 1,906, up compared to 1,850 in January-May 2014
Washington — 1,141, up compared to 949 in January-May 2014
Craighead — 731, up compared to 688 in January-May 2014
Saline — 682, up compared to 668 in January-May 2014
Link here for a PDF document of the May 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 homes 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.