Home sales up; sale prices down in Jefferson County

Jefferson County home sales increased in May, while the values of those homes decreased compared with one year ago, according to a report released by the Arkansas Realtors Association.

Thirty-four homes sold in May 2014, compared with 32 in May 2013. For the year-to-date, 135 houses have been sold this year, compared with 142 through the first five months of 2013.

The May 2014 home sales represented a value of $2,922,606, compared with the $3,082,144 valuation of homes sold in May 2013 — a 5.18 percent decrease. For the year-to-date, home sales represented $11,594,880, compared with $13,525,216 by the same month in 2013 — a 14.27 percent decrease.

The average price of a home sold in Jefferson County in May was $85,959, compared with $96,317 in May 2013. Year-to-date figures were $85,888 for 2014 and $95,248 for 2013.

Rodney Rodgers, an executive broker with Century 21 United of Pine Bluff, said both April and May were good realty months for his business, but June sales seemed to be a bit slower — a normal occurrence in the realty business, he said.

“Ups and downs in sales aren’t unusual,” he said. “Good and bad selling months happen in spurts. It’s just not as steady of a business as it was years ago.”

Despite the countywide decrease in the average prices of homes sold, Rodgers, who’d operated his own realty business in Pine Bluff for 24 years before consolidating with Century 21 earlier this week, said he’s seen no significant depreciation in housing prices — adding, “it certainly hasn’t gone up either, though.”

Rodgers said he doesn’t put much stock in the Arkansas Realtors Association monthly housing statistics because, as a Realtor, he knows the great disparity that occurs in sales from month to month.

“I look at the end-of-year numbers to see how the business has done and what’s been accomplished,” he said. “Looking at the monthly numbers can throw you off because sometimes there are just slow months.”

Statewide, year-over-year home sales for May increased by 5.75 percent, while the average price of those homes decreased by 0.83 percent among the 43 counties that the Realtors Association surveys.

The counties where the most units were sold in May were Pulaski, Benton, Washington, Saline and Sebastion.

For the year-to-date, 10,765 houses have been sold statewide, with Pulaski, Benton, Washington, Saline and Faulkner counties seeing the highest number of home sales.

Also in Southeast Arkansas, the Realtors Association collects information on Grant County, where seven homes were sold in May, compared with 12 in May 2013. For the year-to-date, 38 homes have sold this year, compared with 48 for the same month last year.

The sales represented $484,708 in May, compared with $1,708,800 the previous May. Average home prices in May were $69,244 this year, compared with $142,400 in May 2013.

The average price of the homes sold in the 43-county area surveyed by the Association decreased from $161,794 in May 2013 to $160,450 in May 2014. Statewide valuations in May increased by 4.87 percent from last year.