Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

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

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Real Estate News in NW Arkansas

Now that I’m reading the local newspaper on line again, I can use it to help my readers find information on news and issues of importance for the area.

With regard to real estate there are a few things.

First, an article Saturday in the new NW Arkansas paper provided good information about the housing market in NW Arkansas in relation to property taxes collected and delinquent taxes. It seems that the sum of delinquent taxes declined last year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the housing market is improving.

Second, last Friday was the annual Economic Forecast Luncheon at the Hammons Center in Rogers, sponsored by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the U of A Sam Walton School of Business.

We learned about recent occurrences in the world, national and local economy and postulations about what’s coming in the near future. Actually the outlook was more positive than I would have imagined and I hope the crystal balls of the speakers are not cracked or broken. We need some positive economic news to get buyers out into the streets again, purchasing homes.

The economic stimulus measures of the federal government have helped, particularly the first time home buyer tax credit, which was expanded and extended into this year. Now if only the weather would improve… ;-)

The other event which I just found out about at the Metro Board of Realtor Luncheon on Thursday was the imminent merger between two of the large local real estate companies of NW Arkansas, Harris McHaney and Coldwell Banker Faucette Realty. This will make the largest real estate company in the NW Arkansas area.

This comes on the heels of the merger under the Weichert umbrella of the Griffin Company and Weichert Clark Long and Associates in December just before Christmas.

The real estate business in NW Arkansas is a changin’. Small boutique firms (and even larger firms like Griffin and Harris McHaney) are having a tougher time. The housing market has suffered with the recession, and may continue to do so. The recent announcement by Walmart of laying off 300 people here in NW Arkansas may have a chilling effect on the economy and housing market just as Walmart’s layoff of 800 people last year did.

Foreclosures are high and there are a lot of short sales. With some of our major corporate employers also cutting back, growth in the area is bound to be curtailed, compared to the peak a few years ago. This (in turn) will lead to fewer new homes being built and sold at a time when we are still trying to absorb the inflated inventory of homes from our mini housing bubble.

I certainly don’t have a crystal ball, but I’m still optimistic.

For more info on the housing market and property taxes:

For more info on the Economic Forecast Luncheon and the economy:

For more info on the merger of Coldwell Banker and Harris McHaney:

For more info about Fayetteville and NW Arkansas and purchasing or selling a home there:

And for searching the NW Arkansas MLS:

Saturday, February 06, 2010

Newsworthy in NW Arkansas

Well, I bit the bullet and signed up to pay $5.95 per month to read the local newspaper on line. I don’t get the paper version any more and haven’t for a long time. But a few months ago, the two NW Arkansas newspapers merged and now one has to pay money to read local news on line.

As anyone who has been reading my blog for awhile knows, I have used the local newspapers for “more info” on topics that I blog about. I’m sorry you now have to pay too, but that’s the way it is. I resisted for a long time because of principle. If I can read the major newspapers in the country (Washington Post and NY Times) for free, I didn’t want to have to pay for a mere local newspaper.

Neither of the old papers were that great, but they did tell us what was happening in our neighborhoods, local towns and cities. And the new paper does that too. And we need that information to be informed citizens.

The main turning point for me was that in order to read certain articles to find out news important to my business, I have to pay. Another was a comment by Kathy Deck at the Economic Forecast Luncheon on Friday on the importance of supporting our news organizations financially.

And that got me thinking about the importance of the media in a democracy like ours. Without a strong independent media, we have an uninformed electorate. But for democracy to flourish, we need a strong media which can elucidate the issues and (in an unbiased manner) provide information about our candidates, issues of importance to our daily lives, and the functioning of our political system.

Our local newspapers, like newspapers across the country, have been suffering of late because of increased use of the internet to obtain information. Television competes as well. Major newspapers such as those mentioned earlier have deeper pockets and can find alternative ways to survive without charging website visitors to read their stories. Unfortunately our local papers need additional financial help.

Thus I registered and provided my credit card number to be able to read the local newspaper. It’s a sorry sign of the times, but there it is.

The new NW Arkansas newspaper website is http://www.nwaonline.com . The old website for Judy Luna's information about real estate in NW Arkansas is http://www.judyluna.com/.