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GARLAND COUNTY MARKET UPDATE for 1st Quarter of 2012

The numbers are in for first quarter of the year, and we have prepared the following report for you.

Residential Sales in Garland County, AR 

(information obtained from the Hot Springs Board of Realtors mls)

Average Days on Market

1/1/11 – 3/31/11:  167

1/1/12 – 3/31/12:  179            


Number of Listings Sold

1/1/11 – 3/31/11:  204

1/1/12 – 3/31/12:  220           


Average Price of Sold Listings

1/1/11 – 3/31/11:  $159,733           

1/1/12 – 3/31/12:  $138,153           


Percentage of listings that Sold

1/1/11 – 3/31/11:  28%

1/1/12 – 3/31/12:  33%


MLS Sold Volume

1/1/11 – 3/31/11:  $32,585,629

1/1/12 – 3/31/12:  $30,393,831           

(Click here for a more detailed report of the current market in Garland County, AR)

While the numbers are very similar to last year at this same time, we noticed that there were actually more units sold this year, however the total sales volume was a little less than last year’s volume.

While the local average home sales price is a little low, the national statistics are reporting a different story - stating the luxury market is showing signs of improvement.  According to recent reports by the National Association of Realtors - for the first time, the $500,000 and above market segment represented 10% of all home sales in 2011.  Both the anecdotal and statistical information indicate that although the luxury niche is small, it is outperforming the market in general.

We have also experienced a significant increase in activity in the luxury market, with more showings of our listings priced above $500,000.  In fact, Jeff Kennedy with our team recently closed the largest residential sale in Arkansas this year.  The transaction all started from our internet marketing of a stunning waterfront estate in Hot Springs, custom-built and owned by Rick Ferguson and his wife, Deanna.  This unique property caught the attention of another savvy businessman, Jeremy Carroll, who also owned some really unique properties throughout the state.  After about 10 months of negotiations between both parties, and several trips to all parts of Arkansas to view the various properties owned by each party, another deal was made which involved the trade of a state park in South Arkansas along with a large amount of cash in exchange for a 13,828 square foot manor in West Little Rock and approximately 26 acres of land behind the home.  Contrary to the news report in February of this year by the Arkansas Business Journal, there were no donkeys or peacocks involved in the trade and the home was much larger than 8,900 square feet.

Even Warren Buffet believes the housing market is on the verge of improvement, and says along with equities, single-family homes are a very attractive investment right now. Appearing live on CNBC's Squawk Box, Buffett tells Becky Quick he'd buy up "a couple hundred thousand" single family homes if it were practical to do so. If held for a long period of time and purchased at low rates, Buffett says houses are even better than stocks. 

With rates still at historic lows, real estate is a wise investment.

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