LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- The recent mass shooting at a downtown Little Rock nightclub paired with the recent string of drive-by shootings has some wondering if crime is drawing people out of the city.
Little Rock realtors said the exact opposite is happening. Walt Dickinson with RE/MAX real estate said houses are not only selling incredibly fast, there aren't enough for sale to meet the demand.
“We’re selling more homes than we have in years,” said Dickinson.
Dickinson has been selling homes for over 38 years. He said the housing market in Little Rock is the best he's seen in a decade. He said it's not just experienced homebuyers looking to find a new place, it's also millennials and first time homebuyers.
“Millennials are really starting to look right now because they probably saw what their parents were going through during the recession and now that things have settled down and rates are good,” he said. “It makes more sense.”
While the houses are selling fast, there aren’t enough of them for sale. Robert Klein, President of the Property Group, said interest rates are low but it is a double edged sword. The interest rates are good for people looking to buy, but low interest rates from refinancing have current homeowners sitting still. That’s likely part of the reason there aren’t enough homes on the market.
With high demand, he said some people also end up having to pay more than the listing price as they compete with other buyers. Klein said he had a client offer nearly $500 over the listing price, but they still didn't get the house. He said people are willing to pay more to live in Little Rock even with the crime concerns.
“I think everyone is concerned with what’s going on but I still think the focus is on Little Rock,” said Klein. “I think we need to focus more on the positive we have here.”
He said their clients see Little Rock as the place to be. They aren’t really trying to branch out to smaller, nearby cities.
“If they’re not finding something here in Little Rock they may expand to those outer cities, but we have a lot going on here that I think is very attractive and most people start their search here,” he said.
Dickinson has advice for anyone thinking of buying a home in Central Arkansas right now. He said it is important to find a good real estate agent. Make sure they can show you statistics on what other homes are selling for in the area so you don’t overbuy. Also, when you do find the right home, make sure you make a very competitive offer. He said it is also smart to have all of your documents in order and ready to go. The people who are most ready to buy a home will be able to get what they want faster.