Home sales in Arkansas’ four largest markets were up almost 10% in 2015, and marked five consecutive years of gains in the number of homes sold and four consecutive years of gains in the total value of the homes sold.
Home sales in Arkansas’ four largest markets totaled 24,125 in 2015, up 9.86% compared to 2014 and up 14.6% compared to 2013. The 2015 gains were driven by a a double-digit annual gain in Northwest Arkansas, according to The Arkansas Home Sales Report.
The 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 report is produced by Talk Business & Politics and is sponsored by El Dorado-based Deltic Timber.
2015 home sales were up 8.66% in central Arkansas, up 6.22% in the Fort Smith metro, up 3.57% in the Jonesboro metro and up 14.7% in Northwest Arkansas.
A rise in the number of homes sold did not come at the expense of home prices. The average sales price in the four markets during 2015 was $167,260, up 2.03% compared to 2014 and up 1.12% compared to 2013. Also, the value of homes sold in the four markets topped $4.035 billion, up 12.09% compared to 2014 and up 15.88% compared to 2013.
The value of home sales was up 11.62% in central Arkansas ($1.832 billion), up 8.66% in the Fort Smith metro ($312.801 million), up 11.14% in the Jonesboro metro ($316.576 million), and up 13.55% in Northwest Arkansas ($1.573 billion).
Days on market in 2015 averaged 88.32, better than the 91.53 in 2014.
Jeff Collins, the economist for Talk Business & Politics, said recently in The Compass Report that state and national trends suggest Arkansas’ housing market will also do well in 2016.
“Incomes and employment are expected to grow modestly in the near-term. Housing, however, is expected to continue to accelerate given positive market conditions,” he said in his analysis for the third quarter The Compass Report.
He did note a concern about one of the state’s markets.
“Demand for housing has also rebounded due to latent demand, low mortgage interest rates, and renewed lending. With the memory of the recession still fresh in the minds of many, the Northwest Arkansas market appears over-heated to some observers. Absorption of new inventory needs to be closely monitored for signs the market is overbuilt,” Collins said.
A housing bubble that burst in the 2007-2008 timeframe resulted in numerous bankruptcies in Northwest Arkansas and trouble for many banks operating in the area.
Incomes and employment are expected to grow modestly in the near-term. Housing, however, is expected to continue to accelerate given positive market conditions.
George Faucette, CEO of the Coldwell Banker franchise in Northwest Arkansas, said growth may slow in 2016 but the market should be up in 2016 over 2015.
“We closed 2,876 units, which represented a 11% increase year-over-year. Our average sales price increased about 2%,” Faucette said. “We are projecting continued sales volume growth in 2016, but the percentage of growth could be more moderate by what I believe will be only a slight rise in interest rates.”
The year ended on a strong note with December home sales in the four markets totaling 1,985, up 19.29% compared to December 2014 and up 24.69% compared to December 2013. Total sales were $327.332 million, up 20.58% over December 2014.
THE REGIONAL PICTURE: January-December 2015
Central Arkansas — Home sales
Jan.-Dec. 2015: 10,962
Jan.-Dec. 2014: 10,088
Jan.-Dec. 2013: 9,767
Fort Smith area — Home sales
Jan.-Dec. 2015: 2,459
Jan.-Dec. 2014: 2,315
Jan.-Dec. 2013: 2,044
Jonesboro area — Home sales
Jan.-Dec. 2015: 2,322
Jan.-Dec. 2014: 2,242
Jan.-Dec. 2013: 1,973
Northwest Arkansas — Home sales
Jan.-Dec. 2015: 8,382
Jan.-Dec. 2014: 7,314
Jan.-Dec. 2013: 7,268
The top five counties in terms of January-December 2015 home sales:
Benton — 5,312, up compared to 4,671 in January-Dec. 2014
Pulaski — 5,022, up compared to 4,640 in January-Dec. 2014
Washington — 3,070, up compared to 2,643 in January-Dec. 2014
Craighead — 1,903, up compared to 1,787 in January-Dec. 2014
Saline — 1,862, up compared to 1,683 in January-Dec. 2014
Link here for a PDF document of the December and full year 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.