'Never seen anything like it': Demand far surpasses inventory in Arkansas housing market

The housing market in central Arkansas is red hot, with demand for homes far surpassing inventory across the nation.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, people wanted homes. And they started looking for things like home offices and outdoor spaces.

This phenomenon is particularly apparent in the new development Dawson’s Pointe in Saline County. Every home in the neighborhood is sold, including homes still being built. Realtor Tom Baxley said the typical home in the area gets around seven offers. The most offers he’s seen on one home is 13.

In his 40 years of experience in real estate, Baxley said he’s never seen a market like this.

“Unfortunately, you may make an offer on a home or two that you don’t get,” he said. “Until you get the mindset of what it really takes.”

Baxley said the demand is driving prices up and forcing buyers to change their strategies.

“Buyers are certainly making stronger offers,” he said. “They’re making full-price offers. We see some people certainly offering more than what the property is listed for.”

He said 30 to 40 percent of homes — both new and existing — are selling for more than their value. This is leaving homebuyers wondering if they’re better off waiting. Baxley said it’s hard to predict, but he doesn’t see home prices going down in central Arkansas any time soon.

Across the nation, an average of 20.3% of homes sold last year went for more than their list price, up from an average of 14.2% in 2019, according to data from Zillow. Homebuyers appear no less eager to sweeten offers this year. An average of about 28% of homes sold above their list price in January and February.

Homes are being snapped up within days. Nearly 90% of homes sold in April were on the market for less than a month, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Baxley’s advice to home buyers is to get pre-qualified with a lender so sellers are confident in the offer. He said it also helps to be flexible about move-in dates.


Read the original story on the ABC 7 website here.