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[21 Dec 2011 | One Comment | 2,329 views]
Northwest Arkansas homes sales up for November, year

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 …

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[21 Dec 2011 | One Comment | 2,035 views]
Central Arkansas homes sales up in November

After four months of increased sales compared to year-ago totals, sales followed yearly trends in central Arkansas in November and were higher compared to the same month in 2010.
Before getting into that, it’s necessary to mention a couple of things about our data used to compile monthly housing market reports and the accuracy of it. Such a conversation is necessary in light of reports from the likes of the Wall Street Journal that the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has — knowingly or unknowingly — inflated national homes sales reports …

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[14 May 2011 | 3 Comments | 6,885 views]
Congratulations, Realtors. Your dues are going up.

After months of talking about it, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) voted to raised dues by $40 starting next year to fund its political efforts.
That means Realtors’ national dues will increase from the current level of $80 to $120 starting next year. Well, sort of. Realtors now pay $115 in national dues thanks to a $35 assessment for the NAR’s Public Awareness Campaign that has been renewed and funded at varying levels in three-year cycles since it was put in place in 1998. That assessment is up for …

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[21 Apr 2011 | 2 Comments | 4,337 views]
The mortgage interest deduction — retain it, modify it or eliminate it?

In December, it appeared a proposal to radically alter the mortgage interest deduction had failed.
It seems the issue is back on the table as President Barack Obama on April 13 raised the possibility of at least altering the deduction. The U.S. Treasury Department estimates the deduction will cost the federal budget around $100 billion in 2012, so it’s no surprise that Obama is taking a look at the deduction as the aforementioned effort — a report generated by National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform — was a proposal setting …

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[27 Mar 2011 | No Comment | 1,146 views]
Week in Review (March 21-27)

It’s been a heck of a week on a number of levels here in Arkansas.
For one thing, that pesky winter returned in full force about the middle of the week. Indeed, our 70-degree, sunny days were replaced by near-freezing temperatures and nasty rain by the weekend.
For another, the question a heck of a lot of us Arkansans wanted to know was answered this week — who will replace deposed Razorbacks Basketball Coach John Pelphrey? Also, we had the state Legislature going about its business of annoying us with new laws. …

Business, News, Politics, Real Estate »

[26 Mar 2011 | One Comment | 3,110 views]
NAR pushing for $40 dues increase

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) announced it will consider increasing dues by $40 a year to pay for increased lobbying efforts on national, state and local levels.
The NAR’s timing might not have been great, considering that announcement came on the heels of another one from the trade organization showing that February was a very shaky month for homes sales.
The increase — which would go in place next year and continue in 2013 — will be considered at the NAR’s midyear meetings in May, according to a release detailing what …

Business, News, Real Estate »

[21 Mar 2011 | 2 Comments | 2,176 views]
National existing-homes sales decline in February

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) reported the sales of existing homes declined across the nation in February.
According to the NAR report, there were 4.88 million single-family, existing homes sold in February — down 2.8 percent from 5.02 million sold in the same month a year ago. The report counts the number of completed transactions covering single-family houses, condominiums, co-ops and townhouses,  that are not new.
Frankly, we at First Arkansas News don’t know what to make of the report for at least a couple of reasons.First of all, the first …

Business, iPhone, News, Real Estate, Technology »

[4 Mar 2011 | One Comment | 2,282 views]
Zillow for your iPhone

One of the great things about a smartphone is that it’s easy to download all kinds of cool junk for it and — much of the time — those handy apps are available for free.
A great app for the Apple iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad is one from Zillow.com — the cats who have turned the idea of providing real estate data to the masses into a huge business.
The Zillow app for the iPhone is a thing of beauty simply because it allows the user to roam around, find what …

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[28 Feb 2011 | No Comment | 1,516 views]
Week in review (2/16-2/27)

Yeah, yeah, yeah — the title should probably be something more along the lines of “two weeks in review.”
Still, you get the idea. Besides, the past couple of weeks have been hectic and — for that reason — the expected “week in review” item wasn’t posted last week.
So it’s time to make up for it. Quite a bit has gone on over the past couple of weeks in that we’ve posted housing market reports, news of the National Association of Realtors possibly overstating its sales numbers for the past few …

Business, News, Real Estate »

[27 Feb 2011 | 3 Comments | 3,267 views]
NAR numbers questioned by CoreLogic

In a recent article about the January housing market report from northwest Arkansas, we at First Arkansas News called into question the accuracy of the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) interpretation of the housing market reports it releases.
It turns out we’re not the only ones suspicious of what the NAR reports these days. According to a Wall Street Journal article, CoreLogic is suggesting that NAR’s numbers could be off substantially. Who is CoreLogic? A real estate analytics firm in Santa Ana, Calif., that counted 3.3 million sales of existing homes …