Fayetteville Arkansas, University of Arkansas--Old Main Overview

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

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Skyline Report on the NW Arkansas Real Estate Market

The newest Skyline Report is out. I always like to attend the special breakfast that Arvest holds to present the newest findings as they affect the housing market in NW Arkansas. They usually confirm my anecdotal perceptions, only with facts and figures. Kathy Deck of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the U of A, which prepares the report for Arvest, usually presents the highlights.

Some of the findings for the NW Arkansas residential market:
  •  ·      Occupancy rates of new homes in NW Arkansas took an impressive jump during the last six months of 2013, increasing 60.7%, compared to the first six months of the year.

  •  ·     From July through December 2013, 1,279 new houses in active subdivisions in Washington and Benton counties became occupied. The January-through-June-2013-number of new homes occupied was 796.

  • ·       A look at the number of residential building permits indicates a reasonable amount of new construction taking place rather than the overabundance NWA experienced in the past, especially during the housing bubble. Benton County accounted for 725 of the residential building permits over the last six months of 2013, while Washington County accounted for 369.

  • ·      The average price for all homes sold in Benton County from July 1 to December 31, 2013 was $183,983. That’s a insignificant decrease of less than 1% from the January 1-June 30 sales of $185,500. Price per square foot also decreased 0.2% from $82.43 to $82.29.

  • ·       Meanwhile in Washington County, the average price of existing homes sold was $186,493 in last half of 2013. That’s a 7.2% increase over average price of $173,493 during the first half of 2013. Average price per square foot increased accordingly from $83.94 to $87.87, a 4.7% increase.

For multifamily housing, the vacancy rate remained low during the final 6 months of 2013 at 5.8%, although this represented an increase from the same period in 2012, which was 4.3%. There was a significant increase of units built and absorbed during this period. However, there are another 4000 units scheduled to come on line, which will be slower to be absorbed.

And for commercial real estate, some of the space has been there for awhile and is still there—it’s the wrong kind of space in the wrong place. New spaces are being more quickly occupied as they meet current demands. Nevertheless, there was a net positive absorption of 385,607 square feet in the NW Arkansas market and an overall vacancy rate of 13.6%, down from 14.6% in the first half of 2013.

Altogether, an important factor for all sectors of the real estate market is jobs. Without employment growth, there is no impetus for improvements in the housing market. More people moving into the area because of employment opportunities fuels the housing market. In the last 6 months of 2013, unemployment decreased in the area and job growth increased. There is a high degree of employment by people 55 years and older.

For more information: Residential Summary