August yields mixed results in NWA housing market
Sales in July were up 42.41 percent in Benton, Carroll, Madison and Washington counties while prices were down 14.62 percent. The results in August were similar in that sales were finalized on 615 single family residences in northwest Arkansas — up 28.39 percent over 479 sales in the same month last year. The average sales price in August was $157,894 — down 10.14 percent from $175,714 in the same month last year. Through August, 4,216 homes were sold in northwest Arkansas — up 9.51 percent from 3,850 sales through the first eight months of 2010. The average sales price was $157,131, down 7,19 percent from $169,296 through the first eight months of 2010.
Eric Harris, a Realtor with Weichert Realtors – Downum Group in Springdale — said he is encouraged by the increased number of sales.
“The Selling price per square foot in August actually increased over July 2011 so it appears the market may be bottoming out even though the overall economy is still very soft,” he said. “It is a great time to buy with mortgage rates still low and the selling price of a new home is very affordable. Most people who are renting and could qualify for a mortgage would be much better off to purchase in this market and realize equity in their own home.”
A couple of other things worth mentioning about the August report are the average square footage was down for the month and interest rates were still — and remain — near record lows. According to the national Mortgage Bankers Association, the best available average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage on Sept. 9 was 4.17 percent and 3.4 percent on a 15-year mortgage.
The size of the average home sold in August was 1,984 square feet, down from 2,098 square feet a year ago. The average sales price per square foot in August was $70.67, down from $74.25 a year ago.
Benton resident. Rogue journalist. Recovering attorney. Email = Ethan@FirstArkansasNews.net.