Sep 14, 2022 - Real Estate

Skyline Report: NWA housing is pricey and tough to find

Note: Data for H2 2019 and H1 2020 were not provided by the report. Source: Arvest Skyline Report; Chart: Axios Visuals

Supply chain issues that slow the delivery of appliances for new homes and electrical transformers used in planned neighborhoods are contributing to NWA's housing shortage.

What's happening: The scarcity is driving prices up and vacancy rates down. Home prices continued to skyrocket in the first half of 2022 — up nearly 27% to an average of $385,821, compared with the same period in 2021.

  • And multifamily vacancy rates are so low (2.3%), rent is at an all-time average high of $860.

Why it matters: As housing prices and rents climb, it becomes harder for lower- and even middle-range wage earners to afford to buy a home or rent an apartment in NWA.

Context: The numbers come from the biannual single-family and multifamily residential Skyline Report for the first half of 2022, released to the media on Tuesday.

By the numbers: The average sales price for a single-family home during the first half of the year in Benton County was $403,829. It was $362,924 in Washington County.

  • 1,193 homes were listed for sale in NWA on June 30, with an average list price of $574,132.
  • Multifamily vacancies continue to be tight in Siloam Springs (0.6%), Rogers (0.8%), Springdale (1.2%) and Bentonville (1.4%). Fayetteville was an outlier at 3.5%.

Yes, but: The Skyline data stops at June. Real estate agents have told Axios the market became more reasonable in mid-June when interest rates went up, and they're seeing that buyers have more negotiating power than in recent history.

What they're saying: "I'm not surprised by the numbers," Duke McLarty, executive director of the workforce housing center, told Axios. "Even if we see softening in home prices, that doesn't mean our workforce can afford it."

  • Before the end of the year, he's hoping to present NWA municipalities with some policy and zoning models that, if adopted, could open more land to residential development.
  • "We just need more front doors," McLarty said.
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