Arkansas housing data spanning the first 7 months of this year show home sales were up nearly 11% in the state compared to the same period last year, according to the Arkansas Realtors Association. Sales numbers in the state also show a 13 % increase in home values.
Karen Crowson with the Realtors Association says many were anticipating evidence of a growing housing market before the recent report came out. She attributes the recent growth in sales partly to rising interest rates.
"Interest rates have started going up and I think that has driven a lot of buyers who were sitting on the fence to go ahead and make a move. I been [a real estate agent] for 25 years and that traditionally happens when we see interest rates staying still for awhile you start to see a bump up in the interest rates and an increase in traffic occurs," she says.
According to Bankrate.com, average interest rates on a 30-year fixed mortgage stood at 3.52 % a year ago. Since April, rates have been steadily climbing nationwide, reaching 4.56 % on Monday.
Crowson says rising interest rates may prod more potential home sellers to put their residences on the market.
"We're starting to see in certain pockets of price ranges, a reduction in inventory and certainly need some more listings. You know I think there's--I wouldn't say an overwhelming supply of buyers--but I think there's a healthy supply of buyers out there right now looking to buy property," she says.
In the month of July, Arkansas saw a 19 % increase in the number residential units sold with Benton and Pulaski counties ranking at the top in the number of sales.
Counties with the most home sales are located in Central and Northwest Arkansas. Benton County saw a 28 % increase in sales over last year while Pulaski County saw a 20 % increase.