Northwest Arkansas home sales up 10.3% in May

by Paul Gatling (pgatling@nwabj.com) 399 views 

Realtors in Northwest Arkansas topped the 1,000-unit threshold for May home sales in Benton and Washington counties.

That’s according to the latest data provided by real estate agent Eric Harris with Crawford Real Estate and Associates in Lowell. Realtors in May sold 1,006 homes in the two-county area, up 10.3% from May 2016 and a nearly 25% increase from May 2015.

Mervin Jebaraj, interim director for the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas, said the regional home sales market has surpassed the activity level seen before the recession.

“Unlike the pre-recession residential market activity, this time there isn’t a massive buildup of residential inventory,” he explained. “While it looks like mortgage rates will be favorable for a while longer, one can expect the residential activity to remain as long as supply doesn’t dry up.”

Rising home prices are also pushing total sales volumes higher. Total sales volume in the two-county area increased to $221.73 million in May, a 12.8% increase compared to $196.42 million in the same month last year.

In Benton County there were 605 homes sold in May with a combined value of $137.75 million, up compared to 582 sales worth $129.02 million in the same month last year. That reflects a 3.95% increase in unit sales and a volume increase of 6.76% from May 2016. The median home price in Benton County in May was $193,500, up 4.65% from a year ago.

Washington County agents combined to sell 401 homes for a sales volume of $83.98 million. That compares to May 2016 numbers of 330 homes (up 21.5%) for a combined volume of $67.40 million (up 24.6%). The median sales price in Washington County rose to $178,440 in May, up 2% from a year ago.

The most expensive home sold in May in Washington County sold for $700,000. It was a four-bedroom, 4,776-square-foot residence that was listed for $695,000. The home was on the market for 45 days.

In Benton County, the most expensive sale was new construction, a five-bedroom, 6,213-square-foot estate on 2.7 acres that also sold ($1.31 million) for more than the list price ($1.24 million).

“We are seeing that on the commercial and multifamily side, too,” said Daniel Hawes, president of Landmark Real Estate & Investment in Fayetteville. “Asking prices are almost ‘opening prices’ to a degree in some instances.”

YEAR-TO-DATE
Combined in the two-county area, there were 3,802 home sales through May with a sales volume of $825.20 million. That compares last year to 3,576 units and $752.30 million.

The bulk of the residential volume was produced in Benton County, where Realtors have already recorded more than a half-billion dollars in residential sales through the first five months of the year. There were 2,387 homes sold in Benton County through May, up 12% when compared to the first five months of 2016. The combined volume was $535.43 million.

Median home prices in Benton County were $185,900 through May, or $101.52 per square foot. Homes are also selling faster with a median days on market of 74 through May. That compares to 84 days on market in the same period last year.

In Washington County, agents sold 1,415 homes through May. Unit sales were up 6.7% from a year ago. Home sales had a combined value of $289.77 million, up about 10%.

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