September was likely the best time to sell a home in Northwest Arkansas in more than six years, according to Paul Bynum of MountData.com and the seller’s market index.
That was the case for two local Benton County sellers in Lowell and in northeast Springdale after a job loss and a transfer came with little to no employer notice. In both cases the sellers went under contract in just a few days for full asking price, according to listing agent data.
Agents sold 288 homes in Benton County during September, down 7.69% from the same month in 2011. But the median sales price rose from $124,950 to $146,000 in the same period. Bynum said this 16.8% rise in price is a clear indication of a better market for sellers.
Sales volume totaled $53.596 million in Benton County, up $4.366 million or 8.8% from a year ago.
Bynum says the seller’s market comes down to inventory levels that have fallen 18% from a year ago and stand at half of their all-time high in 2007. He said there is a 4-to-5-month supply of homes priced under $150,000, which clearly favors the seller.
In Washington County agents sold 163 homes last month, and unit activity was down nearly 21% from a year ago.
The sales totaled $27.785 million, down 13% from September 2011, according to MountData.com.
Tami Fagan of Crye Leike Real Estate in Fayetteville says business is good with ample buyers and inventory. She has said the ongoing pace is sustainable and healthy for buyers and sellers, and far more manageable than the frantic market of 2006 and the long lull that followed.
Residential business through September in the two counties of Northwest Arkansas shows a nice pick-up from the past two years. MountData.com reports 4,603 sales with a value of $797.034 million. This compares to 4,592 sales worth $692.844 million in the year-ago period.
Bynum said though transactions were flat, the volume rose 15% because of higher home prices.
“Higher home prices have helped spur on morale. More buyers have been convinced to shop for higher-priced homes as opposed to the bargain-hunters who made up a larger percentage of the transactions in recent years,” he said.
There have been nine homes sell for more than $1 million this year in Northwest Arkansas. The median home price per square foot averaged $81 at the end of September, up from $69.90 a year ago.
In October, existing home prices are up across the six largest markets in Northwest Arkansas from a year ago as follows:
Median $ Per-Square-Foot
Bella Vista $75, up 10.29%
Bentonville $86, up 6.17%
Fayetteville $88, up 10%
Rogers $83, up 5.06%
Siloam Springs $84, up 20%
Springdale $84, 6.32%
Bynum said pending transactions are a leading indicator of future sales. In October there were 707 new listings and 502 pending transactions. That compared to 714 new listings with 441 pending sales a year ago. He said the 13.8% increase in pending should bode well for agent closings in the next 30 to 45 days.
Home Sales (January through September)
2012: 2,859 units, $507.861 million
2011: 2,795 units, $434.421 million
2010: 2,509 units, $411.134 million
2012: 1,744 units, $289.072 million
2011: 1,802 units, $258.831 million
2010: 1,617 units, $252.197 million
Median Sales Price (January through September)