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Northwest Arkansas homes sales up for November, year

By: 21 December 2011 One Comment

It appears that 2011 was a good year in northwest Arkansas as far as homes sales go. Sales were on the rise again in November, adding to a trend that’s been shaping up all year long in Benton, Carroll, Madison and Washington counties.

In November, Realtors in those counties sold 419 new and existing, single-family residences in northwest Arkansas through Arkansas Regional MLS (ARMLS). That’s up 10.55 percent from 379 closed sales in November 2010. The average sales price was $165,966, up 3.07 percent from $161,029 in November 2010. Sellers, on average, netted 94.39 percent of their list prices in November, roughly on par with a 94.86 percent list-to-sales price ratio in November 2010.

Of course, one month doesn’t indicate a trend — taking a look a yearly data generally paints a better picture of what’s going on in a market. Through November, 5,639 homes were sold in northwest Arkansas, up 9.79 percent from 5,136 homes sold through first 11 months of 2010. The average sales price through November was $151,149, down 5.33 percent from the $159,666 average recorded through the first 11 months of 2010. The average list-to-sales price ratio through November was 95.55 percent, up a bit from 94.96 percent last year.

Harris

Eric Harris, an agent with Weichert Realtors — Downum Group in Springdale, said the current market is quite good for people looking to buy homes. He said competitive prices and historically low interest rates hovering around the 4 percent range on 30-year loans have helped attract buyers.

“Interestingly, the sale price per square foot increased month over month by almost $2.00 and the days on market actually increased by 11 days,” he added.

“It seems that the market is improving in Northwest Arkansas but only time will continue to tell the story,” Harris said. “Its a great time to buy a home or invest in rental property. With interest rates at all time lows and good inventory still available your chances of getting in at the right price will be ideal at this time.”

Harris took time to mention another development in northwest Arkansas that has made the area more attractive to buyers.

“Bentonville was recently named one of the top destination spots due to the opening of Crystal Bridges Museum — another amazing addition to the already great quality of life Northwest Arkansans already live,” he said.

For a complete look at the northwest Arkansas housing market report for November, click here for the Microsoft Excel file or here for the PDF.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released its November existing-homes sales report, claiming the market improved 4 percent compared to the same month a year ago. The NAR also revised its 2010 sales downward by 14.6 percent, stating 4.19 million existing homes were sold around the nation last year rather than the originally reported 4.91 million sales.

While they were at it, the NAR revised all sales from 2007 through 2010 down 14.3 percent  from the original totals. Interestingly, inventories were also revised downward and estimated sales prices were little changed, leaving a situation where the NAR stood behind virtually all of its data except for the numbers of homes that were actually sold.

The NAR said a number of items were responsible for the inaccurate estimates that made the changes necessary. The NAR said everything from using benchmarks from the 2010 U.S. Census to overlapping multiple listings services double-reporting sales to more people hiring Realtors to sell houses contributed to the overestimates. The NAR did say at least one thing that rings true, however.

“From a consumer’s perspective, only the local market information matters and there are no changes to local multiple listing service (MLS) data or local supply-and-demand balance, or to local home prices,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in a news release.

With that in mind, we at First Arkansas News feel compelled to point out that we’re not making assumptions and projections based on the data we receive. Rather, we’re counting real homes sold by Realtors in our reports and are, therefore, confident in the accuracy of our numbers.

Click here for a look at the central Arkansas housing market report for November.

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

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