According to the Arkansas Realtors Association, Faulkner County home sales grew by 24 percent in July from the year before. The group released its report Tuesday.
Realtor Bill Tobias of The Tobey Team at Crye-Leike, said the main reason sales are up is because Faulkner County has a fairly stable economy, interest rates have been at historical lows and mortgage lenders have funds available to provide home loans.
"Earlier in the year it was a buyers market, but as inventory has reduced its more of an even or level market," Tobias said. "It’s a great time to both buy and sell."
Single family home sales are going up in all price brackets, he said.
"Every month this year, except February, we exceeded the prior years’ month in sales."
The average price of homes in Faulkner County has gone down by 4 percent with the average price going from $166,832 in July of last year to $159,653 this year.
The value of new and existing homes in Faulkner County, however, are going up, with the average value going from about $18.5 million to about $22 million, a total increase of almost 19 percent from July 2012 to July of this year.
Tobias said sales are up so much, realtors are starting to see a shrinkage of inventory.
"We’re seeing a reduction of inventory primarily in Conway," he said. "Greenbrier and Mayflower have been stable, but Conway is seeing a reduction in inventory."
Tobias interviews home owners asking why they chose to live in Conway and Faulkner County, and he said the public school systems, hospital system and Conway Corporation are some of the reasons people cite most often.
"Conway is a great place to live," he said. "We have easy access to the interstate, we have a progressive government and we are a self sustained city."
In the past decade, Conway has revitalized its downtown to include more shopping and dining options drawing more people to the city. The city’s three colleges have also grown and planned expansion projects. These are all social and economic factors that drive buyers, Tobias said.
Faulkner County sold 138 homes in July. The report surveys 43 counties in the state. Other top counties include:
Benton County, which is up 28 percent
Saline County, which is up 22 percent
Pulaski County, which is up 20 percent
Washington County, which is up 12 percent
The Summary of July 2013 Housing Market Report from the Arkansas Realtors Association can be found at: http://www.arkansasrealtors.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/JULY-2013-Housing-Report-FINAL-COPY1.pdf
(Staff writer Michelle Corbet can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1215. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)