Market Review


1st 1/2 of 2015 Compared to the 1st 1/2 of 2014
Based primarily on data from the JCBR MLS Database

In the first half of 2014 raw land sales amounted to a total of 46 units sold for total sales dollars of $1,786,936.00. This year in the first six months of the year we have sold 25 units for total sales dollars amounting to $1,080,757.00. Obviously and unfortunately land sales are down so far this year. There are a number of factors that play into that situation including a scarce supply of land tracts at reasonable prices. The fact that on average a buyer has to have 25% cash down to purchase raw land also plays into the situation.
If it is your desire to buy a tract of land to build a house on someday the best advice that I can give you is to start saving up your down money.

Commercial sales from January 1st to June 30th in 2014 amounted to only 7 sales for a grand total of $2,791,390.00 in dollars. During that same period this year we recorded 11 sales amounting to $1,423,500.00. As you can see sales in units is up this year although the average prices of those units were obviously lower. That is good news and bad news depending on how you look at it.
Commercial sales in our area have historically been soft with a small number of transactions each year. The annual sales are up and down and there seems to really be no rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes our commercial sales are up when the national economy is down and vice-versa.

Residential sales in the first half of 2014 included the sale of 143 homes for a total of $13,201,300.00. In contrast residential sales in the first half of this year included the sale of 161 homes for a total of $13,971,740.00. That is an increase in the number of houses sold of over 11% and an increase in sales dollars of 5.5%. We are slightly ahead of the national average this year which is an increase in sales of 5.1%. It is not much, but we should be happy to have that slight edge over the rest of the nation.

As for income-producing farms, there were no sales of any farms in the first half of 2014. So far in 2015 we have sold one income-producing farm for a sales price of $550,000.00. Sales of income-producing farms are few and far between and have been for more than ten years now. On the upside there have been several new chicken and turkey farms starting up in our county and in Arkansas these past few years. Chicken and turkey meat demand is still strong and cattle prices are at record levels. Local farmers are doing well!

In the first half of 2014 we sold two multi-family units for a total of $360,000.00. So far in January through June of 2015 we have sold one multi-family dwelling for $57,000.00. Multi-family rental units are not selling well now mainly because there are not that many for sale. The rental market is strong here in Johnson County although the competition is quite fierce. A large supply of rentals makes for a renters market where if someone shops around they can find a place with reasonable rent and terms.

When combining all areas of real estate sales the first six months of 2014 amounted to 198 units sold for a total of $18,139,626.00. The average transaction was for $91,614.00. The average time a listing spent on the market before selling was 219 days and on average the sales price amounted to 87% of the original list price. Comparatively in 2015 all areas of real estate sales combined so far also added up to 198 units sold for a total of $17,022,997.00, a little over a million dollars less than the 2014 sales totals for the same period. The average transaction so far in 2015 has been for $85,974.00, somewhat less than the 2014 number. The average time listings have spent on the market before selling so far this year have been 199 days and on average the sales price amounted to 79% of the original list price.
What can we glean from all of these numbers? I’d say we can say that homes sales are up and that more or less the rest of the real estate market is down. It is tough to say how it will play out these next six months and how the year-end sales numbers will end up though. I tend to believe that we will end the year ever so slightly ahead of last year barring some catastrophic national economic event.