Commercial Real Estate Market Absorbs Over 1,000,000 Square Feet of Space in Northwest Arkansas

Monday, April 24 at 08:15 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Multi-family vacancy rates up slightly but remain low.

Arvest Bank today released its Skyline Reports on commercial and multifamily real estate in Northwest Arkansas for the last six months of 2016.

In the commercial real estate market, 1,005,502 square feet of commercial space were absorbed in Northwest Arkansas during the second half of the year, while 541,561 square feet of new space were added, resulting in a net positive absorption of 463,941 square feet. The vacancy rate for all commercial space fell from 12.7 percent in the first half of 2016 to 11.7 percent in the second half. During the first half of 2016, the commercial market experienced net positive absorption of 11,847 square feet.

The retail submarket has seen a slight increase in vacancy rates from 9.2 percent in the first half of 2016 to 9.4 percent in the second half of 2016, while the warehouse submarket has seen a more significant decrease in vacancy rates year-over-year from 11.5 percent in the second half of 2015 to 8.1 percent in the second half of 2016. According to Kathy Deck, lead researcher for the Skyline Report and director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, this trend is likely a result of the changing shopping preferences of consumers.

“As consumers have increasingly embraced online shopping, it stands to reason that these new shopping preferences will have an impact on different types of commercial real estate with the retail real estate market softening while the warehouse market begins to tighten. I think that is what we are likely witnessing here in Northwest Arkansas,” said Deck.

The office submarket continues to show strength. While 155,933 new square feet were added in the second half of 2016, 271,396 square feet were absorbed – a net positive absorption of 115,463 square feet.

From July 1 to Dec. 31, 2016, there were $137.2 million in commercial building permits issued in Northwest Arkansas, a decrease from the $206.5 million in commercial building permits issued in the first half of the year and a slight increase from the $112.8 million in issued in the last half of 2015.

“Overall, the commercial real estate market can be described as both very active and well-balanced at this time,” Deck continued.

Vacancy rates in multifamily real estate rose slightly from the first half of the year but remain at low levels throughout Northwest Arkansas.  The overall vacancy rate for the Northwest Arkansas multifamily market during the second half of 2016 was 3.2 percent, up from 2.4 percent in the first half of the year. The Skyline Report tracks 336,159 multifamily units in 735 multifamily properties across Northwest Arkansas.

Craig Rivaldo, president with Arvest Bank of Benton County, said about the Skyline results, “We are visiting with a large number of clients who have been very encouraged regarding the real estate development market here in Northwest Arkansas. They have been seeing and hearing what this report indicates – that the market is well balanced, and there are plenty of good opportunities for intelligent commercial and multifamily projects now and in the future.”

Springdale continues to have the lowest vacancy rate in the region, now falling below 1.0 percent to 0.9 percent followed by Bentonville at 1.3 percent, Siloam Springs at 1.8 percent, Rogers at 2.7 percent and Fayetteville at 4.7 percent. Fayetteville’s vacancy rate of 4.7 percent was up from 3.6 percent in the first half of 2016, the result, according to Deck, of a substantial number of “by-the-bed” rental units targeted to college students coming onto the market after the start of the Fall school semester.

Increased demand put upward pressure on lease rates with the average monthly lease price for a multifamily property unit in Northwest Arkansas increasing to $627.04 from $608.88 in the first half of 2016.

“We are running out of adjectives to describe the multifamily market in Northwest Arkansas,” Deck said. “Considering that what is generally considered the normal vacancy rate in multifamily properties is 5 percent, for the overall rate in Northwest Arkansas to be in the 3 percent range and to have stayed under 4 percent since the second half of 2014 is remarkable. With so many new multifamily properties under construction or recently announced, we anticipate that we will likely be in the more normal range of 5 percent within 18- to 24-months. And with so many of the newer properties having a more robust set of amenities, it won’t be surprising if we see higher average rates at that time, even with a higher overall vacancy rate.”

The Arvest Skyline Report is a biannual analysis of the latest commercial, single-family residential and multi-family residential property markets in Benton and Washington counties. The report is sponsored by Arvest Bank and conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) in the Sam. M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas.

In 2004, Arvest Bank entered into a contract with CBER to collect information about the local real estate markets. CBER researchers aggregated and analyzed data from local governments, property managers, visual inspections and the business media to provide a complete picture of the status of property markets in the two counties.

The CBER provides excellence in applied economic and business research to federal, state and local government, as well as to businesses currently operating or those that desire to operate in the state of Arkansas. The center further works to improve the economic opportunities of all Arkansans by conducting policy research in the public interest.

Tags: Arkansas, Arvest Benton County, Arvest Biz, Bentonville, Business Banking, Community Support, Home Loans, Mortgage, Northwest Arkansas, Prairie Grove, Press Release, Rogers, Siloam Springs, Springdale
 

Q&A with Eric Vaughan with Compassion Center of NWA for 1 Million Meals

Thursday, April 06 at 06:10 AM
Category: Arvest Community News
As we embark on our seventh annual 1 Million Meals initiative to raise one million meals for the local hungry, we’re happy to partner with Compassion Center of NWA* to help us achieve our goal. The organization has been serving people in the Northwest Arkansas region for five years. 

To kick off our campaign we sat down with Eric Vaughan, executive director with Compassion Center of NWA, to learn more about him and the organization he works for.

What’s your involvement with Compassion Center of NWA, and how did you get started?
I serve as the executive director of Compassion Center of NWA and help guide the organization to engage the community in service opportunities. I am also responsible for developing a comprehensive growth plan to secure a future where Compassion Center of NWA can continue to increase its footprint in our communities with unique programs that meet the ever changing needs of the Northwest Arkansas region. I started with Cross Church over eight years ago, and it was my privilege to serve as the small group pastor on the Pinnacle Hills Campus in Rogers, Ark. After serving in that role for five years, I was excited to have the opportunity to become the first executive director of the Compassion Center of NWA and help the organization receive its 501(c)(3) from the IRS and to continue to engage the community and enhance our multiple service opportunities to offer hope to those in need.

What’s a compelling experience you’ve had during your time with Compassion Center of NWA?
There are literally compelling stories that touch the heart and soul every day, but my first experience happened shortly after assuming the position of executive director. I was in the pantry area helping one of our clients that had some overwhelming needs. After listening to her story and committing to helping her with her needs I went to the shelf and pulled two bags of groceries from our pre-made bags of food. She glanced in the bags, smiled, and began pulling out a few of the items and laying them back on the shelf. I replied, "Ma’am all of those groceries are for you and your family.” She softly said, “And I am grateful for all of it, but I have diabetes and I can’t eat these items.” It was at that point that I realized we had an opportunity to grow in an area that was already doing well and that we could serve the community and our clients even better. 

Today, the Compassion Center of NWA is a full service choice pantry giving our clients the ability to shop for free while making their own choices of what to put in their baskets, just as if they were shopping at a grocery store. The upgrade to the pantry helps the center cut down on waste, improve the quality of food choices, provide more nutritious options including fresh produce, and provide a more dignified experience for our clients. Brenda Perritt, who serves as our pantry coordinator among other duties, has led the charge with exceptional leadership and continues to build for the future to see more of the region served with their hunger needs.

How can people get involved with the Compassion Center of NWA?
1. Volunteer: With very few paid staff, volunteers are the heartbeat of CNWA. We have projects and daily opportunities for individuals, families, groups and more. Every volunteer hour is an avenue to save resources to spend on our neighbors in need. To volunteer with us at CNWA, contact Brenda Perritt at brendap@compassionnwa.com.
 
2. Donate: If volunteers are the heartbeat of CNWA, then donations are the lifeblood. Clothes, furniture, appliances, and housewares are accepted and sold at affordable rates to support the community services of CNWA but alone those are not enough. Without the generous cash contributions, corporate donations, and vendor product donations, CNWA would not be able to continue to grow and expand its reach. Product donations are accepted Monday - Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on site or at any Cross Church campus location, and cash contributions can be donated at compassionnwa.com/donate*.
 
3. Shop: Compassion Center of NWA is a financially self-sustaining organization and receives funding only through the resources made at the thrift store and the generous contributions of the NWA community. Our thrift store is open to all in the region and deals are found every day. Consider shopping at CNWA today to find a great deal and support a great cause! We are located at 2407 S. Thompson in Springdale, Ark.


We’d love to have you involved in our 1 Million Meals initiative to help the Compassion Center of NWAand our other food partners. 

Four Easy Ways to Donate:
  • Donate via Phone – Customers can make a $1 (or more) donation by calling (866) 952-9523. Funds will be drawn directly from your Arvest account.
  • Donate via Mail – Mail a check to Arvest Bank Operations, ATTN: 1MM, P.O. Box 799, Lowell, AR 72745. Include 1 Million Meals in the memo line of the check.
  • Donate in a Branch – Stop by your local Arvest Bank branch. Cash and check contributions accepted.
  • Donate Arvest Flex Rewards™ – Customers can redeem points for a 1 Million Meals donation. Log in at arvestflexrewards.com, and click on the banner for 1 Million Meals to get started!
We’ll Donate $1 Each Time You:
  • Follow us on Instagram.
  • Like or share our 1 Million Meals Facebook posts.
  • Retweet our 1 Million Meals tweets on Twitter on April 21 and May 10.

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution. 

Tags: 1 Million Meals, Arkansas, Charitable Giving, Community Support, Springdale
 

Winn Promoted in Springdale, Ark.

Monday, April 03 at 05:15 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Longtime mortgage lender to replace retiring Werner.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Arvest Bank is pleased to announce Kelli K. Winn has been promoted to senior vice president, mortgage loan manager in Springdale.

Winn has been with Arvest for more than 20 years, all working in various capacities within the bank’s mortgage division. Recognized numerous times as one of Arvest’s top-producing mortgage lenders, Winn will replace Jim Werner, who is retiring after 19 years with the bank.

As mortgage loan manager, Winn will manage and provide direction to Springdale’s mortgage division in addition to being responsible for its generation, evaluation, approval, processing, closing and servicing of real estate loans.

“Kelli’s commitment to her clients has always been outstanding, and her track record speaks for itself,” said Chris Thornton, executive vice president and loan manager for Arvest in Springdale. “I am confident she will take on this new role with the same dedication and enthusiasm she’s always shown. At the same time, we are grateful for everything Jim has given to Arvest and wish him all the best in retirement. He will be missed.”

Winn earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Arkansas, majoring in finance and specializing in the areas of real estate and investments. She is a past president of the Northwest Arkansas Mortgage Bankers Association.

Winn and her husband, William, live in Springdale and have three adult children.

Tags: Arkansas, Associates, Press Release, Springdale
 

Skyline Report Finds Active, Balanced Residential Real Estate Market in Northwest Arkansas

Friday, March 10 at 07:30 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Significant increase in absorption matches increase in permits.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arvest Bank today released the residential real estate market Skyline Report results for the second half of 2016 in Northwest Arkansas. The report noted an almost equal increase in building permits issued, with a 37.0 percent increase over the same period in 2015, and new homes being occupied showing a 37.6 percent increase.

Significant absorption of new homes led to the lowest level of remaining months of unbuilt lot inventory, 35.1 months, since the inception of the Skyline Report in 2004.

“Given the increase in building permits we’ve seen during the past twelve months, it is quite impressive that the absorption of newly constructed homes has kept pace,” said Kathy Deck, lead researcher for the Skyline Report at the Center for Business and Economic Research at the Sam M. Walton College of Business, University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. “Overall the residential real estate market is as hot as we’ve seen it since the recession. Moving forward we will be paying attention to two issues that could slow down the pace of absorption – the forecasts for slower job growth in the area and the price of lots that are remaining, as this could limit builders’ ability to build the price of homes that are selling.”

There were 1,561 building permits issued in Benton and Washington counties in the first six months of 2016 and 1,574 new homes sold in the last six months of the year indicating good balance between the number of new homes being constructed and the number of new homes being purchased. In the second half of the year there were 1,638 permits issued, a 37.0 percent increase from the 1,196 permits issued during the same period of 2015.

The average sale price of homes sold during the period increased 7.4 percent from the same period in 2015 in Benton County, from $206,575 to $221,944. In Washington County, it increased 6.7 percent, from $189,093 to $201,804.

Centerton, in Benton County, has emerged as a hotbed of building activity. The number of building permits issued in Centerton from July through December was 208 – a 49.9 percent increase year-over-year and the third highest total of all cities in Northwest Arkansas. On the same note, there were 288 houses sold in the city during the period, a 46.9 percent increase over the same period in 2015.

“It is good to see the residential market being so active while also remaining well-balanced in terms of supply,” said Deck. “The market was equally hot prior to the recession, but at the end of 2006 there were more than 2,500 complete but unoccupied houses on the market and now there are fewer than 300. We hope that this balance is sustainable moving forward.”

“As Northwest Arkansas has continued to experience strong growth, we at Arvest have had the opportunity to help thousands of customers get into homes,” said Craig Shy, executive vice president and loan manager for Arvest Bank in Fayetteville. “During the next several years, expectations are that interest rates will rise slightly, but we keep reminding customers that even if rates increase slightly, they will still be very, very low from a historical perspective. The best news is that, in a balanced market like this, it is generally good for both buyers and sellers, as is evidenced by the large number of both new and existing homes that sold during the last half of 2016.”

The total number of new and existing homes sold in the last half of 2016 was 4,772 – a 12.1 percent increase from the 4,257 sold in the last half of 2015.

The Arvest Skyline Report is a biannual analysis of the latest commercial, single-family residential and multi-family residential property markets in Benton and Washington counties. The report is sponsored by Arvest Bank and conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) in the Sam. M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas.

In 2004, Arvest Bank entered into a contract with CBER to collect information about the local real estate markets. CBER researchers aggregated and analyzed data from local governments, property managers, visual inspections and the business media to provide a complete picture of the status of property markets in the two counties.

The CBER provides excellence in applied economic and business research to federal, state and local government, as well as to businesses currently operating or those that desire to operate in the state of Arkansas. The center further works to improve the economic opportunities of all Arkansans by conducting policy research in the public interest.

Tags: Arkansas, Arvest Benton County, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Northwest Arkansas, Prairie Grove, Press Release, Siloam Springs, Skyline, Springdale
 

Reed Promoted in Springdale, Ark.

Friday, March 10 at 04:35 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Longtime associate serves as commercial banker in Northwest Arkansas.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Arvest Bank is pleased to announce Clay Reed has been promoted to commercial banker.

Reed, who will office at Arvest’s Tontitown branch, has 22 years of experience with the bank. He has worked in various roles, including commercial banking, credit analysis, branch management, and teller and deposit services. In his new role, Reed will generate, evaluate and approve commercial loans, among other duties.

“Clay has been a valuable member of the Arvest team for many years,” said commercial loan manager Richard Winesburg. “His many years of banking experience, underwriting, and customer service will help continue Springdale’s success.”

Reed graduated from both the Arkansas Bankers Association Commercial Lending School and the American Bankers Association Commercial Lending School at Southern Methodist University. He is active in several local civic groups, including Habitat for Humanity of Washington County, where he serves as board president.

Reed lives in Springdale with his wife, Robyn, and their two daughters. They attend First United Methodist Church of Springdale.

Tags: Arkansas, Associates, Press Release, Springdale
 

Join Our Grand Opening Event in Springdale, Ark.

Thursday, February 23 at 07:15 AM
Category: Arvest Community News
Our customers are the heart of our business, so let us show you some love at our brand new branch on Friday, Feb. 24. We’ll celebrate the grand opening of our new Elm Springs location in Springdale, Ark., with a chocolate-themed party.

The event is Feb. 24, 2 - 4 p.m., with the official ribbon cutting ceremony to happen at 2 p.m. in the front of the new building at 4860 Elm Springs Road. Arvest has partnered with Kyya Chocolate* to create a collaboration bar for this special occasion. The first 250 guests can receive a Kyya chocolate bar. A golden ticket will be placed inside three of the chocolate bars and the winning ticket can be redeemed for one of three $100 Arvest Visa Gift Cards. Chocolate samples and other light appetizers will also be available.  
 
A key component to making our grand opening even sweeter is having one of our local businesses partner with us for this sweet occasion. Rick Boosey, owner of Kyya Chocolate, will be on site during the grand opening to share chocolate samples and answer any questions about his local business. Kyya Chocolate was conceived while serving at an orphanage in 2012. Kyya’s vision is to directly partner with the cacao farmers, provide the farmer with a better wage and re-invest in their respective communities. It’s about building relationships, and the opportunity to practically love on people through chocolate. Kyya searches for unique cacao that will delight the palette. They love the diversity of flavor in chocolate that most have not experienced. 
 
The new branch features about 5,400 square feet of public space that offers four full-service teller lanes in the lobby and all Arvest Bank services, including consumer lending, deposit services, commercial and small business lending, mortgage loans, mortgage servicing, Arvest Wealth Management and Private Banking services. The branch also includes four drive-thru lanes and a drive-up ATM to provide services to customers who do not want to leave their vehicles. 
 
The new branch’s lobby is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. The drive-thru is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday. 

The “Golden Ticket” chocolate giveaway begins at 1 p.m. and ends at 6 p.m. on Feb. 24, 2017 or while supplies last. The Kyya chocolate bars will be given out at 4860 Elm Springs Road, Springdale, Ark., on Feb. 24, 2017 only. Three golden tickets redeemable for a $100 Arvest Visa Gift Card will be placed inside the packaging of 250 Kyya chocolate bars. Anyone 18 and older is eligible to redeem the golden ticket. No purchase necessary. Arvest associates and immediate family are not eligible. Contest is open to the public. 

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.  

Tags: Arkansas, Community Support, Springdale

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