A look at home values in Fort Smith, Sebastian County and several neighboring communities

As the economy continues to recover, we’re seeing a slight rise in Fort Smith home values.  The Zillow Home Value Index places the value of the average home in Fort Smith at $97,900 as of May 2012.  That’s up 6% from a year ago and equal to the value in 2008.

The statistics here, the most recent available, were compiled on June 18.  They represent Zillow’s valuation, not list prices or sale prices.

If you look at the graph on the website linked above, you’ll see a lot of zigzagging and shakiness between 2008 and today, but there’s one time frame in which there is almost no shakiness: from early last year through April of this year, we see a solid upward momentum in home valuation.

Early 2011 started out at a little over $89,000, and values have had virtually no wavering in their steady climb, and the only drop was the $1,000 from April to May of this year.

The Zillow Index also shows a comparison among Sebastian County as a whole, Fort Smith, Greenwood and Barling.  You look at that here.  Tracked within the same time frame, Greenwood’s average home value tops the rest, at about $108,000 as of May.  Fort Smith is next, followed by Sebastian County at just over $90,000, and then Barling at about $83,000.

The graph shows that all four are at or close to their 2008 valuation.  An interesting move on the graph is how Greenwood homes in the last four years kept shooting up in value, while most of the rest of the country was sinking.  Greenwood finally sank, beginning in early 2011.

Another interesting thing to note here is the erratic valuation peaks and valleys Barling homes have experienced since 2008.  Barling started that year at around $84,000, then by year-end it was hovering close to $90,000.  But then it started a slide that brought it down to $80,000 by mid-2009, then the next thing you know, by the first quarter of 2010, it was back up to around $89,000 valuation.  In mid-2011 it passed the $90,000 mark and then started a slide it still hasn’t pulled out of yet, to bring it to its May value.

Below the graph on the second linked page, looking quickly at Huntington and Lavaca, you see both had higher home valuations in May 2012 than in May 2011.  Values rose in Huntington during that 12-month period by 5%, topping out at $80,300.  In Lavaca, values rose 1.4% for a valuation of $96,600.

Sometimes real estate does some crazy things, but like we’ve been saying all along: it’s going to go up.  Just give it time.  And we want to stress again to any of you thinking of buying a home to move on that thought now.

Crazy real estate.  We love this business!

Nick & Ellie