BY LEANN DILBECK –
RE/MAX Mena Real Estate hosted a Real Estate Symposium for community leaders last Tuesday, July 26, to review past and current trends in the local real estate market. The event was held at American Artisans in downtown Mena.
With the housing market and real estate industry, many times, reflecting the overall health of the area, Sales Associate John Forsyth kicked off the symposium sharing with attendees unemployment trends, national and local economic engines, the real estate industry’s ‘train wreck’ and closed with the very positive trends now being seen nationally and locally in home sales. Locally, sales are increasing, with a higher volume of homes in the $100k range.
President of the local Mena Area Board of Realtors, Rebecca Smallwood followed, and cautioned attendees about websites that offer generic real estate date, many times with erroneous information. She added that the current home ownership rate is at the lowest level that the nation has seen since 1993, at 63.7%, but added that the market is recovering, albeit “slowly.”
Sharon Cole, Broker and co-owner of RE/MAX Mena, showed statistical reports showing numbers of local transactions since 1997, and how the trend has developed, with the current level of total local sales being similar to the number of sales in 2001, as the market was going up. She presented intriguing data including the origin of most buyers, median residential price range, financing data, and other local trends and interesting information. The data for the origin of most buyers was compiled strictly based from sales generated through the RE/MAX office and revealed that most sales are from local buyers, next is buyers from Texas and ranking third in buyer origin was Louisiana.
Nancy Wright, Executive Officer of local Mena Area Board of Realtors, facilitated questions and responses about ATV use in the area, and its impact on our local market. Guest Cheryl Edwards of Hansen’s Camp – Wolf Creek provided much insight not only into the actual ATV businesses, and cabin rentals, but also information about the people who come into our area, their interests, and what they look for.
The sessions ended with Cole reviewing many things the community has done to energize our local economy, giving predictions for the balance of 2016 and into 2017, adding that they’re very blessed to live and work in this wonderful place we call home.
Cole was pleased with the event and said there are discussions of making it an annual event. She is also encouraging the community’s input and asked that anyone with any “real-estate-related information” that they may have or have questions about to contact her at 479-394-5000.