The latest data on Arkansas home sales were released by the Arkansas Realtors® Association (ARA) today. January is typically the slowest sales month of the year, so it is particularly difficult to interpret January sales data in the context of longer-term trends. As shown in the figure below, home sales for the month were down slightly from 2011 (-1.1%). However, sales in January 2011 did not fall as sharply as usual for the month.
Seasonally adjusting the data removes the recurring annual pattern from the series. As shown below, seasonally-adjusted data for January 2012 are in line with observations from recent months. If sales trends continue at their recent pace, 2012 home sales are expected to average just over 2000 homes per month. As illustrated by the not-seasonally-adjusted data, however, most of the sales for the year are expected to take place in the summer months.