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July Home Sales

The latest data from the Arkansas Realtors® Association (ARA) confirms that the long-awaited recovery in home sales is underway.  Earlier this week, the ARA reported that sales of new and existing homes in July were up 19.1% from July of 2012.  As shown in the chart below, this year-over-year comparison overstates the trend rate of growth — but not by much.  Among the peak summer months of May, June, and July, last year’s July sales were relatively weak while this year’s sales show a July peak.  Nevertheless, the year-over-year increase for a three-month average was 10.8%.  For the year to date, the ARA data show a 10.7% increase.

Source: Arkansas Realtors® Association

Seasonally adjusted data, shown in the next chart, clearly illustrate the rising trend.  During 2011 and 2012, average monthly sales seemed constrained to less than 2,000 per month.  The seasonally-adjusted data show that the  symbolic 2000/month pace has been exceeded every month this year — with the trend accelerating into the busy summer months.

Source: Arkansas Realtors® Association; Seasonally adjusted by the Institute for Economic Advancement

Data for individual counties shows that sales increases are not limited to any one metropolitan area, but are widespread.  Among the 8 largest counties (by sales volume), all except Pulaski have shown double-digit growth rates in 2013 (year-to-date figures).  For the central Arkansas counties of Faulkner, Pulaski and Saline combined, the year-over-year increase has been 11.3%.

Source: Arkansas Realtors® Association

Typical seasonal patterns suggest that sales will taper-off over the rest of the year.  But given the strong summer sales pace, 2013 total sales will significantly exceed the lackluster figures from 2011 and 2012.