Agents across Sebastian and Crawford counties reported mixed home sales data for September. The metro area’s combined home sales valued more than $23.16 million, declining 4.2% from the same month last year.
The total number of sales in the two counties was 178 compared to 183 a year ago, according to a report from the Kevin King Group of Weichert Realtors.
Sebastian County reported a stronger September with 134 sales valued at $18.282 million. Unit sales rose 11.6% from 120 sold a year ago and sales volume rose 11% from $16.469 million in the same month last year, according to the MountData.com.
Crawford County’s sales went the other way. Agents sold just 44 homes last month with a total value of $4.913 million. Sales volume fell 36% from September 2014 and units were down 30% from a year ago.
One month does not make a year, said Kevin King, who is pleased with what he sees in the market. King said prices are good for sellers, particularly in the Fort Smith area. Inventory overall is flat against last year. King said of the 1,256 homes available for sale in the local listing service, 621 of them are located in Fort Smith. He said less than 10% are newer homes built in 2014 or later.
The median home price in Sebastian County for September jumped 11% to $125,450 and year-to-date the median home price is up 3.9%, according to MountData.com. King attributes the higher sales prices to the overall better economy in the local region and nation as well. He said in Sebastian County, new homes average-per-foot cost is $112.
“For homes built in 2014 or later the average time on the market is about eight months. This is a little faster absorption rate than we have seen in recent years,” King said. “A balanced market is a six-month absorption rate, and we aren’t too far off that mark.”
Through three quarters of this year King said the sales numbers reflect a steady, but likely sustainable increase over the past two years throughout Sebastian County. Agents have sold 111 more homes this year in Sebastian County, compared to the same period in 2014. The combined sales total $162.647 million, rising more than $15 million from the $147.191 million reported a year ago by MountData.com.
King said in his own office, he has added agents this year and their total listings are up 40% over last year, helping to lift sales by double-digit gains.
Home sales in neighboring Crawford County have just barely kept pace with a year ago. Through September agents sold 470 homes in Crawford County valued at $56.299 million, just above the 469 sales worth $54.762 million a year ago.
While the Crawford County market is smaller than Sebastian County, home prices there have also continued to rise year-over-year. The median home sales price through September was $113,000, rising 5.6% from the $107,000 reported a year ago by MountData.com.
Agents have said Crawford County often appeals to first time buyers because prices tend to be lower than those in neighboring Fort Smith for similar properties. Through September the discount for buyers in Crawford County has been about $6,000 in lower median sales prices than in Sebastian County.
Also, the days on market in Crawford County has averaged 91, which is 16 fewer than the 107 in Sebastian County. In neighboring Washington County the days on market for homes selling this year is 85.
Home Sales (January through September)
• Crawford County
2015: $56.299 million
2014: $54.762 million
Median Sales Price
• Sebastian County
2015: $162.647 million
2014: $147.191 million
Median Sales Price