Northwest Arkansas home sales up in May, down for the year

by Paul Gatling ( 429 views 

May was a good month for Realtors in Northwest Arkansas, but year-to-date sales through the first five months of 2018 were not quite as strong.

May home sales totaled 1,096 in Benton and Washington counties, according to Matrix MLS data, up 7.5% compared with 1,019 in the same month in 2017.

Rising home prices continue to push total sales volumes higher. Total sales volume in the two-county area increased to a combined $268.07 million in May, a 19% increase compared with $225.18 million in the same month last year.

In Benton County there were 678 homes sold in May with a combined value of $161.49 million, up compared with 609 (up 11.3%) and $138.5 million (up 16.6%) in May 2017.

Washington County agents combined to sell 418 homes in May for a sales volume of $106.58 million. That’s up about 2% from 410 unit sales in the same month of 2017, but it represents a significant 23% increase from sales volume of $86.68 million last year.

YTD numbers are on a slower pace, though. Combined in the two-county area, there were 3,625 home sales through May with a sales volume of $849.5 million. That compares with 3,831 units (down 5.4%) in the same period last year and sales volume of $831.75 million (up 2.1%).

Kim Minor, principal broker and owner of RE/MAX Real Estate Results in Bentonville, said 2018 has proven to be an anomaly so far. She said the low inventory of houses has had an effect on the sales decline but isn’t the sole factor. She mentioned the uncertain political climate, a volatile weather pattern during the spring and the Federal Reserve promising to raise interest rates as other causes.

“This year, we’re just not catching up,” she said. “Our office sales are gaining momentum each month, and we’re on track to make up the lag by the end of the year. But it remains to be seen.”