Econ­omy

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - DISCOVER - By Sean Laughlin

The se­cret is out, North­west Arkansas has be­come one of the pre­miere ar­eas in the na­tion to live. Rated in mul­ti­ple web­sites rank­ings of top places to live in­clud­ing U.S. News list­ing Fayet­teville as the #5 Best Place to Live in the USA. U.S. News in­cludes the dras­tic growth that has taken place not only in Fayet­teville but also through­out North­west Arkansas.

“Trans­formed from a small town to a cen­ter of higher ed­u­ca­tion, cul­ture, com­merce and en­trepreneuri­al­ism,” U.S News stated.

The trans­for­ma­tion that is listed above has been a re­sult of in­cred­i­ble growth to the com­mu­nity and statis­tics in the real es­tate in­dus­try show how the trends are head­ing the right way and North­west Arkansas’ big­gest names are to thank.

“We have JB Hunt, Tyson Foods and Wal­mart and all of their ven­dors with those com­pa­nies. Then we also have more than 500,000 MSA’s for the area. Which brings more busi­ness here and puts us on other com­pany’s radar

like restau­rants, chains and stores,” said Suzett Sparks, Pres­i­dent of the North­west Arkansas Board of Real­tors.

In semi-an­nual re­ports from the North­west Arkansas Board of Real­tors (NABOR), the first six months of this year (Jan­uary 1st – June 30), there have been 455 more homes sold and 103 more homes leased than the first six months of 2015. That is an in­cred­i­ble boost within just 18 months.

Sim­i­lar num­bers ap­pear in Wash­ing­ton County where over three hun­dred more homes have sold and al­most two hun­dred more homes have been leased. Just stag­ger­ing num­bers prov­ing that North­west Arkansas is grow­ing; and grow­ing fast.

With the growth comes in­creased prices in houses on the mar­ket, which the NABOR re­ports show are very true. Benton County prices have risen $25,000 since 2015. While Wash­ing­ton County have raised in sales price nearly $20,000.

Af­ter years of a strug­gling real es­tate mar­ket Sparks and other real­tors are very thank­ful for the re­cent growth.

“It’s been amaz­ing, the growth has been amaz­ing! Were back on par with 2005,” Sparks said. “It’s very ex­cit­ing.”

Ac­cord­ing to North­west Arkansas Board of Real­tors, me­dian sales price on Fayet­teville homes is $200,000. This com­pared to other North­west Arkansas cities; $165,000 in Spring­dale, Rogers is $208,055, and Ben­tonville is the high­est of the three with $252,125 me­dian sales price. But, all four of the cities are within a $100,000 of each other in price and only 30 miles ge­o­graph­i­cally.

Truly, one of the coolest parts of North­west Arkansas is how close to each other each city is which makes com­mut­ing and other travel that much sim­pler. One of the many rea­sons why North­west Arkansas growth is cur­rently is show­ing no signs of slow­ing down.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the North­west Arkansas Board of Real­tors (NABOR), go to www2.re­al­torac­tion­cen­ter.com.

To reach Suzett Sparks, email her at ss­parks@lind­sey.com.

THE RIB­BON CUT­TING CER­E­MONY in 2016, to open up the new North­west Arkansas Board of Real­tors build­ing in Low­ell, AR.

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