Homes Sales are strong in Arkansas

(KATV) It is a good time to be a realtor. Home sales each month this year compared to last year have been on a steady rise.

It is also a good time to be a buyer or a seller. Realtors are starting to see less inventory to meet the demand.

Homes sales have remained strong this year. For the first seven months of 2013, the number of homes sold in

Northwest Arkansas 15.76%

Jonesboro Up 12.99%

Central Arkansas up 9.92%

Homes in Arkansas with for sale signs this year are not staying on the market long, in fact, Jonie Burks says, "There are buyers out there that don't have anything to look at."

Jonie Burks with the Charlotte John Company says the demand is there, supply not so much.

She took Channel Seven to one of her homes but like many of her listings, it has an offer. Burks attributes the growing housing market to rising interest rates that are pushing buyers to say "now is the right time". Last year the average 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate was about 3.52 %. Nationwide right now it is around 4.56 %.

When you lock in your rate, determines your monthly payment. Burks explains, "The interest rates could definitely go up during the holiday season or in January. The Federal Government is not afraid to do that. If it goes to 6-percent, you are talking about a 200 to 300 dollar increase in your monthly payment."

In July, Arkansas had a 19 % increase in sold homes, compared to the same month last year. Here is a list of the top five counties with the most home sales:

Benton Co. 441 homes, up 28 %

Pulaski Co. 438 homes, Up 20 %

Washington Co. 266 homes, Up 12%

Saline Co. 155 homes, Up 22%

Faulkner Co. 128 homes, Up 24%

According to the Arkansas Realtors Association, the average price of homes sold reached $166,348 in July, up more than 1 percent from $163,655 in July last year.

Burks adds, "The economy is not 100% back but I think the confidence of the buyer is back. The real estate market is back."

Burks says if you are looking to sell, this is a great time because supply is not level with demand.

Demand doesn't mean your home value is going up. The value is still tied to your neighborhood, your square footage and what condition the inside and outside of the home is in. However, if you price your home right, you can get the top dollar you are asking for.

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