Home Prices, Permits Down Across the State in Final Quarter of 2013

House prices and single-family building permits were down in most metropolitan statistical areas in Arkansas in the fourth quarter of 2013.

According to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis’ "Burgundy Book," released Thursday, Fayetteville, 2.3 percent, and Jonesboro, 0.9 percent, were the only MSAs to experience growth in housing prices.

Hot Springs saw the sharpest decline in prices at 9.6 percent, followed by Fort Smith at 6.1 percent. In Little Rock, home prices were down 0.5 percent, while in Texarkana prices fell 0.3 percent and fell 0.1 percent in Pine Bluff.

Nationally, home prices were up 11.5 percent in the fourth quarter, according to the CoreLogic Home Price Index.

While most areas also saw a decline in single-family building permits, Pine Bluff, 342.1 percent, and Fayetteville, 29.2 percent, saw increases. Permits were up across the U.S. by an average of 20.1 percent in the last quarter of 2013. 

Fort Smith saw biggest drop off at 29.1 percent, followed by Jonesboro, 27.4 percent, and Texarkana, 19.8 percent. Little Rock saw a 9.2 percent decrease and Hot Springs endured a 6.8 percent decline.

Still, the report said the residential market is improving in the area. Faulkner County was reported to have seen the greatest increase in homes sold.

In the multi-family market, vacancy rates in the Little Rock Zone — which covers all of the state except northeast Arkansas — climbed while developers continued to look for new sites for apartment complexes, the report said. Business contacts said there was concern of an oversupply of apartment buildings.