Fort Smith metro home sales up 16.2% in 2020

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 388 views 

After the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the state and national economy in early 2020 and the Fort Smith metro lost 10.5% of its jobs in one month, it was unlikely the area home sales market would post double-digit percentage gains for the year. But it did.

There were 3,965 homes sold in the metro during 2020, up 16.2% compared with the 3,412 during the same period in 2019. The value of those homes sold was $649.338 million, up 13.4% compared with 2019.

The average price of the homes sold during the year was $163,918, up from $150,242 in the same period of 2019, according to data provided by Ashlee Milton, an executive broker with Chuck Fawcett Realty in Fort Smith.

Home sales in Sebastian County, the region’s largest, accounted for 48.8% of area sales in 2020, with the number of homes sold totaling 1,934, up 17.4% from the same period of 2019. The value of homes sold in the year was $333.1 million, up 20% from the $277.656 million during 2019. The average home price in Sebastian County was $172,234 in 2020, up from the $168,583 in 2019. Days on market fell from 102 in 2019 to 96 in 2020.

Milton said she is conducting more virtual tours which she said is a “fantastic tool” in providing potential buyers more info before they physically tour a house. Barring an unexpected drastic rise in interest rates, she also does not see the pace slowing.

“We usually have lulls in different parts of the year but those gaps in buyer frenzy just haven’t happened for quite a while. … We may experience a slow down but for right now, I couldn’t predict when it will come. The interest rates have been phenomenal so it’s just making more sense to buy than rent,” Milton said. “The only reason I can see that we might slow down would be an interest rate hike. Several lenders offer zero down financing options allowing buyers to come to closing with only the investments of their appraisal and inspection fees during the process.”

Crawford County home sales accounted for 19.8% of regional home sales with 788 homes sold in 2020, up over the 724 in 2019. The value of homes sold in the region was $133.719 million, up 30.1% compared with the $102.747 million in 2019. The average home sales price was $169,695 in 2020, up from $141,917 in 2019. Days on market fell from 84 in 2019 to 79 in 2020.

Milton’s report also showed 102 multi-family property sales in 2020, up from 81 in 2019. Of the 102 sales, 75 were in Sebastian County. The total value of the multi-family property sales in 2020 was $32.365 million, up from the $22.839 million in 2019.

Fort Smith metro employment in April was 101,415, down from the 113,417 jobs in March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Metro employment in November, the latest data available, was 109,361.

METRO HOME SALES NUMBERS
• Fort Smith Region (Crawford, Franklin, Logan, Scott and Sebastian counties, and areas of eastern Oklahoma)
January-December 2020
Homes sold: 3,965
Value of home sales: $649.338 million
Average price: $163,918

January-December 2019
Homes sold: 3,412
Value of home sales: $572.626 million
Average price: $150,242

• Sebastian County
January-December 2020
Homes sold: 1,934
Value of home sales: $333.1 million
Average price: $172,234

January-December 2019
Homes sold: 1,647
Value of home sales: $277.656 million
Average price: $168,583

• Crawford County
January-December 2020
Homes sold: 788
Value of home sales: $133.719 million
Average price: $169,695

January-December 2019
Homes sold: 724
Value of home sales: $102.747 million
Average price: $141,917

• Franklin County
January-December 2020
Homes sold: 153
Value of home sales: $19.954 million
Average price: $130,422

January-December 2019
Homes sold: 118
Value of home sales: $14.498 million
Average price: $122,873

• Logan County
January-December 2020
Homes sold: 143
Value of home sales: $17.331 million
Average price: $121,199

January-December 2019
Homes sold: 111
Value of home sales: $11.988 million
Average price: $108,004

• Scott County
January-December 2020
Homes sold: 34
Value of home sales: $3.875 million
Average price: $113,985

January-December 2019
Homes sold: 42
Value of home sales: $4.132 million
Average price: $98,387

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