Northwest Arkansas home sales up 17% through February

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 498 views 

The pace of home sales in Benton and Washington counties accelerated through the first two months of 2017 compared to a year ago, according to the latest data.

Realtors in the two-county area combined for a sales volume of $238.05 million through the first two months of the year. That’s up 17.3% from the first two months of 2016 ($202.80 million) and well ahead of the $176.61 million during the first two months of 2015.

Agents in the two-county area sold 1,115 homes in January and February, compared to 1,070 sales in the year-ago period and 928 in the first two months of 2015, according to data provided by Eric Harris, an agent with Crawford Real Estate & Associates in Lowell.

In Benton County, two-month totals indicate there were 699 home sales totaling $151.83 million, up more than 14% from the sales volume through the first two months of 2016.

There were 417 home sales in January and February in Washington County, totaling $86.43, up more than 23% from the same period last year.
Cody Burnett is principal broker for the Burnett Real Estate Team in Bentonville. It operates as the Arkansas branch office for Connect Realty, a Houston-based real estate brokerage that operates throughout the company.

Burnett, who ranks No. 19 on the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal’s Top 100 list this year (page 16), said he is keeping his eye on federal interest rates as the year progresses.

“We’re all at the mercy of the Fed and rising interest rates,” he said. “That’s going to slow things a bit, or at least effect what is selling, I think. A person will be buy less home for the same money as rates go up.”

Burnett, like most agents, acknowledged prices continue to rise in both counties. In Benton County last month, median prices were $175,000, up just slightly from $173,000 the previous year. In Washington County, though, median home prices were $169,000, up 10.4% year-over-year.

Land prices are also on the rise, Burnett added, which will mean higher lot costs.
“The average lot in Bentonville proper is around $55,000 now,” he explained. “Using the 20% rule, meaning a lot is supposed to be 20% of the cost of a home, the homes will get more expensive as lot prices go up.”

In February, Washington County agents sold 213 homes for a combined value of $42.87 million, up 14% from $37.62 million the previous year. Unit sales dipped slightly, from 218 in February 2016, and the average home sales price was $201,292.

Meanwhile, in Benton County, there were 363 home sales last month valued at $78.08 million, up from 346 sales and $70.11 million in February 2015. The average sales price for a home was $215,112.