November 2013 wasn’t a very good month for home sales in Arkansas. The number of single family residences sold decreased by about two percent compared to the same period the previous year. Despite that drop, data still show that the total number of home sales last year had been outpacing 2012. Bob Walker, realtor for Coldwell Banker and past president of the Arkansas Realtors Association, says November 2013 was largely an anomaly and he expects home sale numbers to continue to rise.
“In most areas that we track we're seeing anywhere from...15 to 20 percent in a lot of areas of growth: number of units sold, the dollar volume, everything that we track. So, '13 is definitely going to end up better than 2012 and 2012 is better than '11,” he says.
Walker says the government shutdown for the hurt consumer confidence and the availability of some loan types, like rural development loans, which led to the recent dip. For the most part, last year’s home sales have shown an increase, he asserts.
“It created some problems in not being able to close some deals when they were supposed to close,” he says. “So I think this was just sort of a carry over of that because if you look at the Year-to-Date statistics...in most categories that we track out there, we're ahead in 2013.”
Walker, who says he's been in the real estate business for over 30 years, maintains that interest rates continue to stay relatively low and he expects them to remain that way.