Fort Smith metro home sales market sees gains in sales volume and units, decrease in inventory

by Aric Mitchell ( 259 views 

For the last few years, the Fort Smith metro region has largely been a homebuyer’s market, but that is starting to change.

According to Andy Hearn, an agent with Weichert Realtors – King Realty Group, the market is starting to see balance between buyers and sellers. The company provided data through February to Talk Business & Politics from the Fort Smith Board of Realtors MLS showing a continued increase in prices for both Sebastian and Crawford counties.

Combining the two, the Fort Smith metro region had $43.187 million in year-to-date sales volume on 342 unit sales compared to $41.297 million last year on 321 unit sales, increases of about 4.6% on volume and 6.6% on units.

Crawford County registered 55 unit sales totaling $6.667 million in February compared with 65 units at $6.748 million during the same period last year, a drop of 15.4% in unit sales but only 1.2% in sales volume. The residential market is seeing a reduction in inventory and higher pricing per unit for the 30-day period.

Through the first two months of 2017, Crawford did $10.602 million in sales with 99 unit sales, a decrease from 2016’s $11.535 million on 105 unit sales. However, Crawford County saw an increase of 19.81% in average home sales prices to $126,809 in February from $105,842 during the same period last year.

Pushing these numbers upward was Sebastian County, which contains Fort Smith — the state’s second largest city. Sebastian boasted an increase in unit sales and sales volume, logging 243 units for the first two months of 2017 compared to 216 through February of last year — a 12.5% increase — and $32.585 million compared to $29.762 million through February 2016, a gain of about 9.5% year-to-year. Sebastian also posted strong numbers for the month, reporting $16.624 million in sales over the 30-day period on 128 units. Comparing the performance to February 2016’s $15.39 million on 121 units yields gains of 8% and 6%, respectively.

“Inventory levels in our market are at the lowest they have been in years, and we are seeing more properties sell quickly and in many cases with multiple offers,” Hearn said, noting the average sales price in Sebastian County for February was $148,395, up from $135,173 last year, a 9.78% increase.

“While Fort Smith traditionally maintains close to 600 homes on the market, it has lately been seeing less than 400 homes available,” said Kevin King, broker/owner of Weichert Realtors – King Realty Group. “This will have a positive impact on the market in balancing the buyers and sellers where we have been used to a buyer’s market for several years now. The market is changing, and there are less properties available for buyers to choose from and additionally we are seeing an increase in rates which shows a positive outlook on the current economic environment and consumer confidence.”

BY THE NUMBERS (Jan.-Feb. for 2017; full year numbers for 2016, 2015)
Crawford County
Unit Sales
2017: 99
2016: 670
2015: 606

Sales Volume
2017: $10.602 million
2016: $83.984 million
2015: $72.808 million

Average Sales Price
2017: $115,302
2016: $125,350
2015: $120,145

Sebastian County
Unit Sales
2017: 243
2016: 1,557
2015: 1,459

Sales Volume
2017: $32.585 million
2016: $230.803 million
2015: $204.894 million

Average Sales Price
2017: $155,610
2016: $148,236
2015: $140,435