Comparing Fort Smith real estate to another “Fort” city – Fort Smith, Colorado

The two cities may start with the same word, but equal comparisons after that are few and far between.  Still, I was curious about how the two cities match up in affordability, homes sold, the Zilla Home Value Index (Zilla being the website where these stats come from), square footage, property taxes, etc.

See the stats here:



Fort Collins is in northern Colorado, just below the Wyoming border.  Where we have heat, they have COLD.  Fort Collins is home to Colorado State University; we have to drive up the road a bit to see the Razorbacks.  But let’s look at real estate.

In 2008, the average home value in Fort Collins was a little over $220,000.  Currently, it’s $225,300.  Fort Collins’ home values saw very little fluctuation over the past four years, when home values in other markets zig-zagged radically and usually dropped.

In Fort Smith in 2008, home values were right at about $100,000, and today they’re $97,100 – also very stable over the past four years.  One difference that’s obvious is the affordability of Fort Smith homes.

In June of this year, 413 homes were sold in Fort Collins, which has a population of 146,762 as of July 2011.  In Fort Smith, 99 homes were sold in May of this year (the latest month Zilla has stats for).  Our population was 87,152 as of July 2011.

The above statistic shows quite a difference in the activity of the real estate market between the two cities.  And keep in mind, too, that Fort Collins is a college town, so a large number of residents there aren’t the ones buying the homes.

Many factors can explain why one city has significantly more home sales than another.  We’re not particularly concerned with that.  What we see when we see a relatively lower number of home sales in Fort Smith is stability.  People like where they are and there simply aren’t as many of our residents who feel the need to up and move.  (This is one possible explanation, not necessarily the most accurate.)

As to the size of homes, among six square-footage categories, most homes in Fort Collins (21.5%) fell in the 1,800-2,400 category.  In Fort Smith, the majority (28.6%) were in the 1,000-1,400 category.

Fort Collins has 57.1% owners in its houses and 42.9% renters.  Fort Smith: 56.4% owners, 43.6% renters.  The national average is 66.3% owners and 33.7% renters.  And here’s a big one – property tax.  In Fort Collins it’s $1,558 per year.  In Fort Smith, it’s $337.  National average: $3,025 per year.

Of course we’re pro-Fort Smith, but we’re not anti-Fort Collins or anywhere else.  We were just curious about how two “Fort” cities measured up.  America is great for many reasons, not the least of which is that it offers something for everybody.  As for us, as much as we’re NOT happy with the Arkansas heat in the summer, we’re sure glad we don’t have to deal with -15 F in the winter.

Two “Fort” cities.  Both ideal for the right people.

Nick & Ellie