Fort Smith metro home sales values rise, but numbers down 7.2% through September

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 602 views 

Home sales in the Fort Smith metro are pulling back from record levels that began to emerge in 2020, with the number of homes sold down more than 7% in the first eight months of 2022 compared with the same period in 2021. Sales values continue to show gains.

The metro area had 2,676 homes sales in the January-August period, down 7.2% from 2,883 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 sales totaled $580.319 million, up 5.3% compared with the same period in 2021. The average home price for sales in the first eight months was $216,861, up 13.1% compared with the $191,682 in the same period of 2021. Average days on market in the first eight months was 64, below the 72 days in the same period of 2021.

“We are currently in a transition phase in our market. Lots of sellers are noting the continual rise in average sold pricing since the beginning of COVID and are holding out to try to find the top dollar cash buyers,” Milton noted. “In contrast, more buyers are having to be more selective and creative with their buying power due to rising interest rates. This is proving to be an interesting time where more actual negotiations are allowed to happen than we were experiencing five months ago.”

Existing U.S. home sales fell 19.9% in August compared with August 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors. Freddie Mac reported that the average interest on 30-year fixed rate mortgages was 6.66% as of Oct. 6, down from 6.7% in the previous week. A year ago the 30-year fixed rate was around 3%.

Milton said home sales activity in 2022 reflects a return to more normal conditions and she does not see a steep market decline. Home sales in 2021 were up 10.6% over 2020, with 2020 home sales up 13.4% compared with 2019. 2021 marked a record of 4,400 home sales in the Fort Smith metro. Average home prices in Sebastian and Crawford counties topped $200,000 for the first time in 2021.

“The market is by no means crashing. However, it has begun to level out much more than it has over the last 2.5 years. I think we’re all thankful it’s becoming less chaotic,” she said.

Metro area data comes from Crawford, Franklin, Logan, Scott and Sebastian counties in Arkansas, and parts of eastern Oklahoma. About two-thirds of metro home sales are from Crawford and Sebastian counties.

SEBASTIAN, CRAWFORD COUNTY SALES
Home sales in Sebastian County in the first eight months was 1,242, down from 1,397 in the first eight months of 2021. Home sales in the county represent 46.4% of homes sold in the metro. The value of homes sold was $272.065 million, below the $281.13 million in the same period of 2021. The average home sales price was $219,054, up 8.9% compared with the $201,239 in the first eight months of 2021.

Home sales in Crawford County in the first six months was 512, below the 535 in the first eight months of 2021. Home sales in the county represent 19.1% of homes sold in the metro. The value of homes sold was $111.989 million, above the $108,316 million in the same period of 2021. The average home sales price was $218,729, up from the $202,462 in the first six months of 2021.

MULTI-FAMILY, COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY
The metro area had 110 multi-family (apartment) sales in the first eight months of 2022, above the 91 in the same period of 2021. The value of the sales was $48.126 million, well above the $29.88 million in the same period of last year. The average price of each deal was $437,516, above the $328,358 in the same period of 2021.

The largest multi-family deal in the first eight months of 2022 was $4.794 million, well above the $2.66 million in the same period of 2021.

Fort Smith metro commercial property deals totaled 95 in the first eight months of 2022, just below the 97 in the same period in 2021. The value of the deals was $26.616 million, below the $35.163 million in the same period of 2021. The largest commercial deal in the metro was $1.85 million in the first half of 2022, well below the $6.194 million in the 2021 period.

METRO HOME SALES NUMBERS
• Fort Smith Region (Crawford, Franklin, Logan, Scott and Sebastian counties, and areas of eastern Oklahoma)
January-August 2022
Homes sold: 2,676
Value of home sales: $580.319 million
Average price: $216,861

January-August 2021
Homes sold: 2,883
Value of home sales: $550.89 million
Average price: $191,682

• Sebastian County
January-August 2022
Homes sold: 1,242
Value of home sales: $272.065 million
Average price: $219,054

January-August 2021
Homes sold: 1,397
Value of home sales: $281.13 million
Average price: $201,239

• Crawford County
January-August 2022
Homes sold: 512
Value of home sales: $111.989 million
Average price: $218,729

January-August 2021
Homes sold: 535
Value of home sales: $108.316 million
Average price: $202,462