BENTON COUNTY, ARKANSAS, Ark. — Historically low interest rates contributed to a rise in home sales in Northwest Arkansas in the second half of 2020 as home inventory levels declined, according to a new real estate report. Meanwhile, the multifamily vacancy rate narrowly increased.
Fayetteville-chartered Arvest Bank released Tuesday (March 2) the Skyline Report for residential and multifamily real estate for Benton and Washington counties for the second half of 2020. The report also included Madison County data, but for comparison purposes, it was not included in the news release. The Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) in the Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas completes the biannual report.
In the second half of 2020, home sales in Benton and Washington counties rose 16.6% to a record high of 5,726, from 4,910 in the same period in 2019. Since 2015, sales have risen by 34.5%. The sales number from the 2019 period also was a record high. The 2020 sales number included 1,465 newly constructed homes, another record. The number of newly constructed homes has increased by 71.3% from 2015.
The strong home sales volume in the second half of 2020 led home inventories to fall by 61% to a record low of 707, from 1,812 in the same period in 2019. The number of complete but unoccupied new homes fell by 20.9% to 245, from 310. The declining inventory levels resulted in a record low average number of days on the market for a home of less than 90 days.
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