Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

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

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Real Estate Market Report for Fayetteville, Dec. 2005

The Fayetteville market slowed considerably during December, mostly due to seasonal factors, but uncertainty in the economy and rising interest rates are also taking their toll.Inventory of homes on the market now is significantly up, even in the lower price ranges under $150,000.

Whether buyers will encounter a buyer's market or a seller's market depends entirely on the price range--the lower end is a seller's market and the high end, a buyer's.The number of sales in the past month was significantly lower in comparison to last year with only 67 homes sold in December compared with 94 in the same period last year according to the Fayetteville/Springdale Metro Area MLS. Under $100,000 there continues to be a shortage of homes for sale and a strong seller's market.

In the last year according to the Multiple Listing Service database, only 76 homes between $75,000 and $100,000 were sold, an average of just over 6 homes per month, due to a shortage of homes available. This is to be compared with 117 homes sold as recently as 2 years ago, while new "starter" homes were still being constructed in the Fayetteville area. Now there are only 18 homes on the market, of which only 2 are under 5 years old. Buyers who wish to purchase a home in Fayetteville under $100,000 must be ready (pre-qualified or pre-approved by a lender) to move quickly and make an offer on "the good ones" as they come on the market.

Between $100,000 and $150,000 these trends also exist. Currently there is a 2-month supply of homes of all ages from new to historical homes, up from 1.5-month's supply last month. In absolute numbers, 355 homes were sold in this price range in the last year, an average of 28 per month. Now there are 60 houses on the market, of which 2 are new and 7 homes less than 5 years old are for sale. Last year, the new homes in this price range have been primarily in the new Salem Meadows, Salem Village, and Sage Meadows subdivisions west of town, but these areas have now become built out. The townhouses for the University student market in an area called Skyler Place, which were plentiful last year, have alsot been sold. There is a new development of townhomes off Hwy. 16W, called Chevaux, listed at approximately $130K.

The situation improves markedly above $150,000 as the supply has jumped greatly with 98 homes currently on the market, about a 3.5-month supply. Almost 1/2 of these (44) are new homes. This is due to continuing development of several subdivisions in this price range, mostly on the west side of town: A new subdivision called Persimmon Place off Hwy 16W and Phase 2 of Fairfield. There are also some new condos near the mall in a subdivision, called Bellafonte Gardens, in this price range.

Between $200,000 and $300,000 there is an even better supply with 223 homes currently on the market, approximately a 10-month supply, a buyer's market. The new homes are in a variety of subdivisions, giving buyers in this price range more choices. For townhomes, there is Benton Ridge in SE Fayetteville as well as Bellafont Gardens on Zion Rd. near the Mall, and for single family homes, there is a new phase of Stonebridge Meadows under construction (24) and a new subdivision called Cross Keys west of I-540 (6). Existing subdivisions west of town also have homes in this price range--Clabber Creek (16), Legacy Pointe (7), and Fairfield (11) .

In the $300,000-$400,000 price range, there is about a 12-month supply, about 3/4 of which are new and newer homes. On homes over $400,000 the supply is also more than ample, about an 11-month supply. In terms of absolute numbers there are 102 homes on the market between $300,000 and $400,000 (62 new and another 18 under 5 years old) and 100 homes over $400,000, of which 46 are new homes and 26 are under 5 years old. In addition, prices have increased; new construction in Covington Park now starts at about $128 per square foot, and, depending on amenities, new homes in some of the gated communities east of town cost about $140 per square foot and up. Another promising area on the high end is the phenomenal new Clear Creek golf course community in Johnson. And in east Fayetteville out Hwy 45, a new subdivision called Waterford now has about 50 one-acre lots for sale at $100K each.

Traditionally the nearby small towns of Farmington and Elkins have provided lower-cost homes than were available in Fayetteville. However, now Farmington is just as expensive as Fayetteville, and homes in Elkins which are closer to Fayetteville are rising in price. On a positive note, with the completion of I-540, other communities are beginning to become options for affordable housing, namely West Fork and Greenland, south of Fayetteville. Prairie Grove, a charming small town west of Farmington about 20 minutes from Fayetteville, is experiencing some new development and presents possibilities for moderately priced houses.


Margaret Rome said...

Lots of good information. Thanks for sharing.
Margaret Rome

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