Arkansas Home Sales Report: Sales up almost 12% through May, total value up more than 16%

by Talk Business & Politics staff (staff2@talkbusiness.net) 61 views 

Arkansas home sales activity continues to impress through the first five months of 2016, with the numbers even more impressive when considering they are compared to a healthy 9.86% gain in all of 2015.

The number of homes sold in Arkansas’ four large markets totaled 9,804 in the first five months of 2016, up 11.62% compared to the same period in 2015. What’s more, the five-month tally tops the pre-recession 2006 high when 9,793 homes were sold.

The combined value of homes sold in the January-May period was $1.724 billion, up 16.18% compared to the same period in 2015 and up 33.82% compared to the same period in 2014, 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.

Sales price per home in the first five months averaged out at $175,888, up 4.08% compared to the same period in 2015 and up 10.45% compared to the same period in 2014. The average price per home sold ranges from $207,474 in Northwest Arkansas to $135,523 in the Jonesboro metro.

DelticTimberCorplogoThe January-May 2016 home sales were up 10.18% in central Arkansas, up 14.03% in the Fort Smith metro, up 8.25% in the Jonesboro metro and up 13.79% in Northwest Arkansas. Benton County in Northwest Arkansas and Pulaski County in central Arkansas continue to be the state’s busiest in terms of home sales. Of the 9,804 home sales in the January-May period, 4,484, or 45.7%, were in the two counties.

The value of home sales for the first five months was up 11.32% in central Arkansas ($730.967 million), up 16.18% in the Fort Smith metro ($122.306 million), up 13.2% in the Jonesboro metro ($129.83 million), and up 22% in Northwest Arkansas ($741.305 million).

MORE OF A WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY
“I can’t think of anything to say but ‘wow,’” said Michael Pakko, chief economist  and state economic forecaster at the Institute for Economic Advancement (IEA) at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. “Everything’s up double-digits around the board.”

Pakko said sales are up everywhere and it appears Arkansas real estate markets are on track for a banner year of growth – in line with his earlier predictions that 2016 would be a very good year for the economy in general and homes sales in particular. An unexpected factor that could lead to even more sales is that an anticipated interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve didn’t come to pass and may be delayed until late summer or early fall.

In other words, the window of opportunity for buyers wanting to purchase homes as record low rates is open longer than expected and no one can say for sure if interest rates will be raised by the end of the year, according to Pakko.

Kevin King, owner of King Weichert Real Estate in Fort Smith, said property also is moving faster.

“Properties seem to be selling in less time on average than in 2015 and average prices are growing as well. Interest rates continue to stay at levels that make the payments for financing a home look more attractive than renting,” King said.

Days on market in the four largest markets through May was 82.98, well below the 97.49 during the same period in 2015.

STRONG MAY SALES REPORTED
Home sales in Arkansas’ four largest markets totaled 2,560 in May, up 13.12% compared to May 2015 and up 23.25% compared to May 2014. The value of combined May home sales in the four markets was $467.617 million, up 19.71% compared to May 2015 and up 36.96% against May 2014. The average home price in May in the four markets was $182,663, up 5.82% compared to May 2015.

The average days on market in May was 73.96, down fro 82.24 in May 2015 and down almost 17 days from the 90.14 in May 2014.

The May 2016 home sales were up 12.98% in central Arkansas, up 5.2% in the Fort Smith metro, up 21.89% in the Jonesboro metro and up 13% in Northwest Arkansas.

The value of May home sales was up 12.3% in central Arkansas ($206.569 million), up 25.52% in the Fort Smith metro ($30.416 million), up 27.52% in the Jonesboro metro ($34.204 million), and up 26.23% in Northwest Arkansas ($196.427 million).

THE REGIONAL PICTURE: January-May 2016
Central Arkansas — Home sales
Jan.-May 2016: 4,371
Jan.-May 2015: 3,967
Jan.-May 2014: 3,785

Fort Smith area — Home sales
Jan.-May 2016: 902
Jan.-May 2015: 791
Jan.-May 2014: 757

Jonesboro area — Home sales
Jan.-May 2016: 958
Jan.-May 2015: 885
Jan.-May 2014: 864

Northwest Arkansas — Home sales
Jan.-May 2016: 3,573
Jan.-May 2015: 3,140
Jan.-May 2014: 2,686

The top five counties in terms of January-May 2016 home sales:
Benton — 2,250, up compared to 1,969 in January-May 2015
Pulaski — 2,234, up compared to 1,906 in January-May 2015
Washington — 1,323, up compared to 1,171 in January-May 2015
Craighead — 769, up compared to 731 in January-May 2015
Sebastian — 622, down compared to 557 in January-May 2015

Link here for a PDF document of the May 2016 data.

THE 2015 PICTURE

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.

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.

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).

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