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Central Arkansas homes sales down in May

By: 21 June 2011 2 Comments

Here’s something that should come as no surprise — homes sales in central Arkansas were down in May.

Why is that no surprise? The tax credits that propelled sales from 2008-2010 worked their way out of the system around June last year, thus skewing comparisons with 2011 sales considerably. In April 2008, the federal government put in tax credits for first time home buyers and those were extended to repeat buyers prior to running out in April 2010. Eligible buyers under the last set of credits were directed to get homes under contract prior to May 1 last year and close on them prior to July 1.

The May 2011 closed sales report compares numbers from a non-credit era to ones where first-time buyers received up to $8,000 from the IRS and repeat buyers received up to $6,500 purchasing homes. When those credits expired, sales fell as expected.

In May, 642 sales closed in Faulkner, Grant, Lonoke, Pulaski and Saline counties — down 25.52 percent from 862 closings in the same month last year and down 12.77 percent from closings in May 2009. The average sales price in May was $161,467, down slightly from $162,263 a year ago. Click here for a look at both the May and year-to-date sales reports based on numbers issued by Cooperative Arkansas Realtors MLS (CARMLS).

While average prices and the number of closings may not be a surprise, one wrinkle worth mentioning has to do with the list price to sales price ratio. In May, the average list price was $167,387, meaning the average sales price of $161,487 reveals that sellers generally received 96.46 percent of their asking prices.

Bear in mind that the CARMLS report represents only homes that were actually sold and does not represent the number of homes that were priced too high or remained on the market for one reason or another.

About: Ethan C. Nobles:
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email =

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