Fort Smith metro sales up in early 2022, Sebastian County sales down

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 487 views 

Homes sales and the combined value of sales in the Fort Smith metro are up in the first two months of 2022 compared with the same period in 2021, but Sebastian County – the largest in the region – had declines in the number and value of sales.

The metro area had 537 homes sales in January and February, up from 513 during the same period in 2021, according to data provided by Ashlee Milton, an executive broker with Chuck Fawcett Realty in Fort Smith.

The value of the sales totaled $110.596 million, up 21.8% compared with the same period in 2021. The average home price for sales in the first two months was $205,952, well ahead of the $176,936 in the same period of 2021. Metro area data comes from Crawford, Franklin, Logan, Scott and Sebastian counties in Arkansas, and parts of eastern Oklahoma.

Home sales in Sebastian County in the first two months was 234, down from 257 in the first two months of 2021. The value of homes sold was $48.337 million, just below the $48.345 million in the same period of 2021. The average home sales price was $206,572, more than the $188,116 in the first two months of 2021.

Home sales in Crawford County in the first two months was 104, up from 88 in the first two months of 2021. The value of homes sold was $21 million, up from the $16.004 million in the same period of 2021. The average home sales price was $201,923, up from the $181,869 in the first two months of 2021.

Fort Smith metro home sales were up almost 11% in 2021 compared with what was a record 2020, and the 2021 average home price in Sebastian and Crawford counties topped $200,000 for the first time. There were 4,400 homes sold in the metro in 2021, up 10.6% compared with 3,978 in 2020. The value of those homes sold was $853.409 million, up 31% from $651.925 million in 2020

RISING RATES, CONTINGENCIES
Milton said rising interest rates have in recent weeks caused some changes in the market. According to Bankrate, the national average rate for a 30-year mortgage on March 31 was 4.89%, up from 3.35% on Jan. 7.

“With the interest rates rising, many buyers are having to lower their purchase price amounts. The debt-to-income ratios are being checked and with the rates going up, we’re looking at lowering some of the purchase price amounts for buyers with loans. Interest rates are still low if you’re looking at a historical trend, but they are going up from the super low rates we were experiencing during 2020 through earlier this year,” Milton said.

She also said the limited number of homes for sale is also resulting in a change in how some homes are sold.

“Because of the low inventory, we’re also seeing more and more sellers making contingencies in the contracts that they must find a home to purchase in order to sell their existing property,” Milton said.

METRO HOME SALES NUMBERS
• Fort Smith Region (Crawford, Franklin, Logan, Scott and Sebastian counties, and areas of eastern Oklahoma)
January-February 2022
Homes sold: 537
Value of home sales: $110.596 million
Average price: $205,952

January-February 2021
Homes sold: 513
Value of home sales: $90.767 million
Average price: $176,936

• Sebastian County
January-February 2022
Homes sold: 234
Value of home sales: $48.337 million
Average price: $206,572

January-February 2021
Homes sold: 257
Value of home sales: $48.345 million
Average price: $188,116

• Crawford County
January-February 2022
Homes sold: 104
Value of home sales: $21 million
Average price: $201,923

January-February 2021
Homes sold: 88
Value of home sales: $16.004 million
Average price: $181,869