Fort Smith area home sales dip in April after a strong start to 2016

by Kim Souza (ksouza@talkbusiness.net) 51 views 

Realtors in Sebastian County area sold 111 homes in April with a combined value of $13.587 million, down 28% from the $18.884 million sales value reported a year ago when agents sold 114 homes. However, the year-over-year comparison included two home sales at more than $1.5 million each in April 2015.

Sales were steady in April after a double-digit gain in the first quarter of 2016. The median home price in Sebastian County was $103,000 in April, down 11% from a year ago as more low end homes are being sold to investors, according to data provided by Kevin King at Weichert King Real Estate in Fort Smith.

While median sales prices were down, the median price per square foot was flat year-over-year at $68.32. During April the lowest price sales on record was $3,750 or $4.88 per square foot. The  largest home sale for the month was a six bedroom, seven bath home which sold for $1.7 million, a 12% discount from the $1.95 million list price. It took an average of 141 days for the homes to sell in April. That average was driven higher because of the three years it took to sell the $1.7 million home.

Through the first four months of the year agents have sold 483 homes, valued at $64.625 million. The year-to-date sales are higher than a year ago. Unit sales are up 14% from the 423 homes sold in the year-ago period. Sales volume is nearly 6% from the $60.919 million reported through April 2015.

The median price of homes sold this year in Sebastian County is $105,000, down from $107,500 a year ago. The average selling price of $133,801 is down from $144,016 a year ago. In Fort Smith, King said the average home price has stayed constant to a year ago at roughly $136,000.

Interest rates remain low and continues to help bolster the housing market, according to King. The active number of investors scouring for deals has also supported the sales in the lower price ranges this year.

Crawford County had flat home sales in April as agents sold 53 homes valued $7.211 million. But home prices were anything but flat. A year ago the 53 sales were valued at $6.153 million. The median home price in April rose to $122,000, up 13.4% from the $107,500 reported a year ago, according to data provided by King.

The Van Buren area has been active with new home building over the past year which is helping to drive up the average prices. The bulk of the metro area’s increase in activity year over year is attributed to more robust sales in Crawford County. In the first four months of the year agents have sold 217 homes valued at $27.266 million. Unit sales are up 24.7% year-over-year, while sales volume rose 37.4% from the $19.833 million reported through April 2015.

Realtors in the Fort Smith, Van Buren areas expect 2016 to be a year of modest growth and with one-third of the year already in the books the two county area is off to a stronger start than in recent years. Combined sales through April for the two-county area totals $91.893 million, up 13.7% from the $80.752 million reported a year ago. Agents sold 700 homes in the two counties through April compared to 597 in the same four-month period of 2015.

HOME SALES (January-April)
Crawford County
Unit Sales
2016: 217
2015: 174
24.7%

Sales Volume
2016: $27.266 million
2015: $19.833 million
37.4%

Median Sales Price
2016: $108,000
2015: $107,500
0.46%

Sebastian County
Unit Sales
2016: 483
2015: 423
14.18%

Sales Volume
2016: $64.625 million
2015: $60.919 million
5.73%

Median Sales Price
2016: $105,000
2015: $117,250
-10.44%

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