Wednesday, October 10, 2007

NWA Home Sales Continue to Slide

The number of home sales in Benton County this August dropped 26.4% from August 2006, but average prices in August increased 7.9% to a whopping $210,347, the highest in the state. Statewide, the average home price is $156,284. Washington County home sales were down 17.4% and prices were up 2.4%.

Jeff Collins, a partner with Streetsmart Data Services of Northwest Arkansas and the former director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas, put a cheery face on the numbers and said that "very high-priced homes, in ritzy areas like... Pinnacle Hills in Rogers, continue to sell well." That is reassuring for everyone else who cannot find affordable housing in Northwest Arkansas.

Ethan Nobles, a former newspaper reporter who left the profession to flack for the Arkansas Realtors Association, called the information "encouraging." For whom is not clear, because he based that optimism on the fact that
"we aren't experiencing the catastrophic price drops in Arkansas that seem to be the norm in other markets around the nation." I am fairly sure that families seeking to buy their first home are not particularly encouraged by that, but perhaps the real estate agents and home builders are pleased by such news.

Why is it, do you think, that in Garland County home sales were up 13.1% and average prices dropped 6.3%? Everyone there must be deeply discouraged.

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