Sebastian, Crawford home sales post more gains despite ‘signs of weakness’

by Aric Mitchell ([email protected]) 479 views 

The Fort Smith region — Sebastian and Crawford counties — experienced an uptick in month-to-month and year-to-date home sales through values and unit sales, but it’s showing signs of weakness in the Sebastian County market, according to Jonella Graham of Weichert, Realtors-The Griffin Company.

Combined sales volume for August was 14.61% higher than the previous year at $41.027 million against $35.798 million. This is pretty consistent with the year-to-date total of $289.567 million against $254.109 million in 2017, a 13.95% increase. Units sold also rose month-to-month and year-to-date with an increase to 235 from 213 over the last 31 days and 1,613 from 1,553 last year.

Graham said Sebastian County “is looking a little weak,” noting “amazing numbers” in August 2017 that brought the average sale price up compared to the last 31 days. Graham said there were six homes sold for over $500,000 in August 2017 versus two homes at that price point last month. Sebastian’s average sales price is down 10.56% for the month ($141,200 against $157,866 in 2017) and 0.34% year-to-date ($154,998 against $155,527).

Graham said the year-over-year numbers show a decrease since May. It’s “way too early to say we are seeing anything worth reporting but the market doesn’t appear to be as strong for Sebastian County the last few months as for where we were previously.” Graham said the company will be watching the trendline closely for the last three months of the year.

For sales volume, Sebastian County saw an 8.66% increase for the month at $29.016 million on 168 units against $26.704 million on 154 the previous year. This continued a strong year-to-date performance with $206.486 million on 1,120 units against $184.62 million on 1,079, an 11.84% increase. Inventory took less time to sell with days-on-market (DOM) of 79 versus 85 month-to-month and 100 days versus 107 year-to-date.

Crawford County home sales seem to be on firmer footing, Graham said, noting “good numbers overall” on the back of strong year-to-date numbers. The smaller segment of the market has posted larger-percentage gains with a 32.08% increase month-to-month ($12.011 million versus $9.094 million) and 19.56% through the first eight months ($83.081 million versus $69.489 million).

The county moved 67 units in August against August 2017’s 59 and 493 units for the year compared to 474 last year. While average sale price declined over the last 31 to $127,793 from $135,129 during the same period, the year-to-date average is much stronger at $142,150, a 10.45% increase from $128,700 last year. It’s also taking homes less time to sell with a 78-day DOM in August against a 91-day last August and a 99-day for the year against a 111-day YTD.

BY THE NUMBERS (Jan.-August for 2018; full-year numbers for 2017, 2016, 2015)
• Crawford County
Unit Sales
2018: 493
2017: 701
2016: 671
2015: 606

Sales Volume
2018: $83.081 million
2017: $105.711 million
2016: $93.504 million
2015: $83.5 million

Average Sales Price
2018: $142,150
2017: $131,668
2016: $125,454
2015: $120,145

• Sebastian County
Unit Sales
2018: 1,120
2017: 1,571
2016: 1,558
2015: 1,459

Sales Volume
2018: $206.486 million
2017: $275.116 million
2016: $262.53 million
2015: $230.742 million

Average Sales Price
2018: $154,998
2017: $155,466
2016: $148,179
2015: $140,435