The Arkansas Realtors® Association reported today that July sales of new and existing homes totaled 3,480 – up 10.2% from July of 2017. The summer months are typically the strongest months for home sales, although the pattern of month-to-month changes can vary depending on the timing of sales closings. As was the case in 2016 and 2017, recorded home sales dropped off from June to July, but the decline was not as large in 2018 as last year. If we combine the sales figures for May, June and July, summer sales in 2018 are 5.3% higher than the same period in 2017. Year-to-date, the ARA report showed sales up 3.4% form 2017 to 2018.
Using statistical techniques to seasonally-adjust the data, the trend of recovery since late 2012 is evident. The seasonally-adjusted level of home sales in 2011 and 2012 was less than 2,000 per month, while the monthly sales rate in 2018 has averaged over 3,000 homes per month — an increase of 50% in only 6 years!
Much of the growth in recent years is attributable to a gradual recovery from the housing crash that preceded the 2008-09 recession. As shown in the quarterly, seasonally-adjusted figure below, the volume of home sales is now above the pre-crash peak and continues to rise. With the recovery behind us and housing market conditions returning to a more stable environment, it would not be surprising to see the growth rate of home sales slow. But while the 3.4% growth rate year-to-date represents a slowdown from the 8.1% average pace of 2013-17, it still represents a healthy rate of expansion.