The Arkansas Home Sales Report, covered on CityWire.com, shows that in January and February 2012, sales in three of the four largest markets in the state were up compared with the same time period last year.
In the state’s 14 largest counties, which are part of the four largest metro areas, home sales totaled 2,132 during the first two months of this year, beating out the same period last year by 6.28% and the same period in 2010 by 13.7%.
The four metro areas studied in the Arkansas Home Sales Report are Central Arkansas; Fort Smith area; Jonesboro/Northeast Arkansas; and Northwest Arkansas. The Jonesboro/Northeast Arkansas metro area is the only one of the four in which same-period sales declined from 2011 to 2012.
A housing market researcher quoted in the CityWire article said, “There has literally never been a better time to buy a home with inventories declining and the lowest interest rates in history,”
The researcher, Paul Bynum, owner of MountData.com, supplies data on Northwest Arkansas for the report. He said a lot of the increase in sales in this area was because Wal-Mart had relocated its apparel division to Bentonville.
Here’s how the sales numbers stack up in the four metro areas, comparing figures for the last three years.
Jan.-Feb. 2012: 1,032
Jan.-Feb. 2011: 925
Jan.-Feb. 2010: 965
Fort Smith area
Jan.-Feb. 2012: 209
Jan.-Feb. 2011: 190
Jan.-Feb. 2010: 195
Jan.-Feb. 2012: 203
Jan.-Feb. 2011: 233
Jan.-Feb. 2010: 189
Jan.-Feb. 2012: 688
Jan.-Feb. 2011: 658
Jan.-Feb. 2010: 526
Granted, the numbers in the Fort Smith area aren’t staggering, but they’re definitely moving in the right direction. Everywhere you go you hear people who know what they’re saying telling folks to buy now, if they can. We all realize that home prices won’t stay low forever, and neither will interest rates.
Nick and I believe very strongly in our community and in our region of the state. We’re fortunate that while home prices in many areas around the country dropped during the recession, those in Fort Smith actually rose a little bit. And the good news there is, Fort Smith has always been an affordable place to live. But buy now, if possible, because prices will rise as time goes on.
Buy low, sell high. It’s a formula that always pays off.