Fort Smith metro home sales up nearly 10% for they year despite weaker May

by Aric Mitchell ( 83 views 

The Fort Smith metro region saw a slight decline in home sales for May, but remained ahead of 2016’s year-to-date tallies with $140.694 million in sales volume on 886 units sold for the first five months of 2017. Compared to last year’s $127.962 million total on 833 units, the region is enjoying a 6.36% gain in units sold and 9.95% in sales volume.

Sebastian County led the way with $99.655 million in sales on 599 units compared to $90.613 million on 575 units for the same period of 2016, a gain of 9.98% in sales volume and 4.17% in units sold.

Crawford County posted a smaller YTD gain with $41.039 million in sales on 287 units compared to $37.349 million on 258 units for the first five months of 2016, a gain of 9.88% in sales volume and 11.24% in units sold.

“Homes in Sebastian and Crawford County are not lasting on the market as long as they used to,” said Kevin King, broker and owner with Weichert Realtors – King Realty Group. “Year-to-date, Sebastian County saw a 23% drop in the average days on the market (to 113), while Crawford County saw an 18% drop (to 121). Both are good signs of a more balanced market, which the area hasn’t experienced for a while.”

King noted an increase in the average sale price of single-family homes. The 2017 YTD shows in Sebastian County an average sale price of $149,472, which is up 6.43% from 2016’s average of $140,441. Crawford County’s average sale price for the year actually decreased a bit to $125,322 — a decrease of 0.82% — compared to 2016’s $126,364, but the county is a significantly smaller portion of the Fort Smith metro region, so it didn’t significantly affect the overall.

“The continued vibe in the market is that interest rates are remaining lower than expected for now even though most sources expect slightly rising rates,” King said, adding inventory of homes “still remains low compared to previous years,” but there was a slight decrease in March and April. “Sebastian County currently has 602 homes on the market with 421 of those being in Fort Smith city limits. Crawford County has 249 homes available with 131 of those in Van Buren and 67 situated in Alma.”

King continued: “Homes that have been remodeled and staged well seem to garner multiple offers and typically sell for much closer to asking price with some even selling above asking price.”

The bad news for the region is May numbers were down overall, thanks to a weaker performance in Sebastian County compared to May 2016. For the 30-day period, the county did $20.589 million in sales volume on 122 units sold, a 15.96% decline in sales volume from $23.875 million on 140 units the previous year. While Crawford was up last month, the 12.24% gain in volume and 20.31% in units sold were too small to close the gap. Overall Crawford County logged $10.973 million in sales volume on 77 units compared to $9.776 million on 64 units in May 2016.

Combined county totals for the last 30 days were down to $31.562 million on 199 units from $33.651 million on 204 in May 2016 — a decline of -6.62% on sales volume and -2.51% on units sold.

BY THE NUMBERS (Jan.-May for 2017; full year numbers for 2016, 2015)
Crawford County
Unit Sales
2017: 287
2016: 670
2015: 606

Sales Volume
2017: $41.039 million
2016: $83.984 million
2015: $72.808 million

Average Sales Price
2017: $125,322
2016: $125,350
2015: $120,145

Sebastian County
Unit Sales
2017: 599
2016: 1,557
2015: 1,459

Sales Volume
2017: $99.655 million
2016: $230.803 million
2015: $204.894 million

Average Sales Price
2017: $149,472
2016: $148,236
2015: $140,435