Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview
Overview of Fayetteville, AR

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Higher Prices--what do the numbers mean?

Viewing the rising prices of homes in NW Arkansas communities in the previous post, it is obvious that buyers in the coming months will face a shortage of less expensive homes and much higher prices for the homes already on the market.

A couple of other observations are also in order. It used to be that Fayetteville was the most expensive community in the area. That is changing. Bentonville now has the highest average- price and median-price homes on the market, with Fayetteville in second place and Rogers close behind.

It appears that Springdale, Bella Vista and Siloam Springs have more affordable homes on the market, but even there, prices for homes currently listed are significantly higher than what has been available in the past.

Part of the problem is that builders are not constructing so-called "starter" homes any more. The ability to purchase a new home for under $100,000 is a thing of the past. Land and development prices have skyrocketed, so what builders are doing is making a larger home and charging more money for it. Older existing homes on the low end are becoming smaller and shabbier for higher prices as well.

Since salaries are not keeping pace with the price of homes, fewer people will be able to purchase homes in the future. Owning one's place of residence may be a luxury that fewer and fewer people in NW Arkansas can afford.

One of the attractive features of Northwest Arkansas, which has made it the featured subject of "quality of life" magazine articles in the past has been the modest cost of living, along with physical beauty and a small-town ambience with all of the conveniences of living in a large urban area. This is disappearing with the exploding urbanization and higher housing costs (not to mention the high sales taxes of the NW Arkansas communities). Is this what we want?

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